Extreme couponing Virginia couple receive a combined nearly 20 years in prison for $31 million fraud

Just The News: The FBI has released details about a $31.8 million counterfeit coupon scheme perpetrated by a Virginia couple who will now spend close to 20 years combined behind bars.

Last month, 41-year-old Lori Ann Talens was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Her husband, Pacifico Talens, Jr., 43, was sentenced in August to seven years.

Together, they ran a counterfeit  coupon fraud scheme that cost retailers and manufacturers close to $32 million in losses. It was one of the biggest schemes of its sort ever to be discovered in the U.S.

Between 2017 and 2020, Lori Ann Talens operated a scheme across social media sites in which she identified groups of coupon enthusiasts and sold them fake coupons. 

Lori Ann had a background in marketing and graphic design skills that made her fake coupons look virtually indistinguishable from authentic ones. She ran the scheme from her Virginia Beach home under the name “MasterChef.” Her counterfeit coupons often allowed customers to purchase items at significantly reduced cost. more here

23 Comments on Extreme couponing Virginia couple receive a combined nearly 20 years in prison for $31 million fraud

  1. “She pleaded guilty to wire fraud and health care fraud and has been ordered to pay $31.8 million in restitution to the retailers and manufacturers who bore the losses of her fraudulent scheme.”

    Which the court knows is never going to happen, so did they seize all her assets for resale as well?

  2. I actually know someone that alters the expiration and prints a “free twelve pack Coke product” coupon at certain stores.
    I tried it in Florida and it worked at one store but not the other attempts.

    Not sure how technology hasn’t kept up?

    Thing is, if it is a legit working coupon, but indeed a copy, the manufacturer likely has to reimburse the retailer.
    The product may not have sold otherwise so no harm done.

  3. When I was single, I was at a hockey game that the day sheet and advertising inserted in the program had a coupon that was good for a free meal at a pretty good restaurant if the home team scored a certain number of goals, the total both teams scored was equal to a certain number of points and the home team’s star offensive player scored a hat trick.

    After the game I picked up every single one of the day sheets I could get my hands on from the floor and ate there twice to three times weekly for the next year.

    My coupons were all legit, they had the correct watermark on them and were legally obtained by me. Even so after a couple of weeks the manager tried to refuse me any further dinners… until my buddy, an attorney, sent him a letter explaining to him that by doing so he was opening himself up to having to compensate me for the value of the meals if the coupons were expired prior to my being able to utilize them.

  4. What is funny is how some entities will send out a coupon to entice you into their establishment then work to not have to honor it! Also interesting is why they usually have an expiration date on the coupon when its sole purpose was to bring you there!

  5. Cool story JD.

    There was a pizza place called Mr. Gattis that we hung out all the time.
    They used to issue a little lottery like card with each purchase that had “free soft drink,” “free salad,” etc.
    We would dumpster dive and find the “free small pizza” coupons.
    The manager knew what we were doing but since we ate there all the time he didn’t care.
    It was surprising how many free things we would finagle as kids.
    Today’s youth don’t know the fun we had or how to be clever.

  6. When I worked at a supermarket in the late 60s, occasionally I would see some of the clerks and managers walk over to a register with a stack of coupons, put them in the register and take out cash. Being a stupid teenager, I didn’t think much of it, until a few years later when I heard a news story about a major bust in SoCal. They were adding up the face value of the coupon discount, and taking that amount out of the register,

  7. @LocoBlancoSaltine — The standard/most common pronunciation is COO-pon. That’s not to say that KYOO-pon is somehow incorrect. That’s just a little less common pronunciation.

    Also, the word comes from the French, wherein “coup” is pronounced “coo”…not that English speakers don’t usually butcher French words (which is frequently deserved).

  8. Can’t have “little” people pretending they’re politicians and FBI!
    Fraud? Ya want to talk about fraud? Huh?
    FBI knows A LOT about fraud!
    Russian collusion, anyone?

    izlamo delenda est …

  9. Then shouldn’t the FBI guys be getting 20 year sentences for defrauding the FISA courts? That cost the taxpayers more than $30 million!

    No Justice, No Peace!

    izlamo delenda est …


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