Extreme Couponers Arrested In $31.8 Million Fraud Scheme


Diligent, meticulous couponing can exponentially cut away at a grocery bill, reducing some hundred dollars into single digits, sometimes even pennies. Or it could foreshadow involvement in multi-million dollar fraud scheme, such as what a couple enabled with some dedicated forgery.

Virginia Beach couple Lori Ann Talens and Pacifico Talens, Jr. had fake coupons in “every crevice” of their house, according to new reports by the FBI documenting the elaborate social media-driven scheme Lori Ann ran. Together, they face a combined sentence of 20 years. Here’s how the plot unfolded.


A couple arranges a scheme to benefit from extreme couponers

A woman learned how to manipulate bar codes to create numerous fake coupons / Flickr

The Talens couple housed enough piles and piles of coupons – all fake – that their combined amount totaled over $1 million. That’s what was physically on-hand. In addition, they had designs and layouts for savings on 13,000 products saved onto Lori Ann’s computer. According to FBI Special Agent Shannon Brill, Lori Ann mastered “the different techniques she needed to manipulate barcodes to make these coupons work.”


RELATED: The McDonald’s Monopoly Scam That Resulted In A $1 Million Donation To St. Jude’s

Once forged, the coupons did not go to the Talens for extreme couponing worthy of TLC’s eponymous series. Instead, customers reached out to Talens and Talens corresponded with subscribers via an encrypted messaging app. Customers traded $400,000 in digital currencies like bitcoins, or “exchanged coupons for stolen rolls of the special paper stores use to print out coupons.”

Breaking open the case

Inside the home of Lori Talens / CNN video screenshot

The discounts gave extreme couponers discounts “near or even over” the product’s retail value. As a result, the Department of Justice reported retailer and manufacturer losses at around $32 million. CNN Business writes that this scheme had gone on for three years until Coupon Information Corporation discovered what was going on based on a tip concerning someone making and distributing forged coupons.

The couple was apprehended and in September, Lori Ann was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Considered the mastermind of the operation, she was charged with “perpetrating a counterfeit coupon fraud scheme” that led to those astronomical losses. Meanwhile, her husband knew of the scheme and profited from it, and for that he was sentenced to 7 years in prison. Specifically, the couple is further accused of using the money earned by distributing these coupons to build a swimming pool and remodel their kitchen.

In response to her actions and the fallout, Lori Ann says she is “deeply ashamed and embarrassed.”

Lori Ann and her husband face a combined sentence of just under 20 years in prison / Pxfuel

RELATED: There Are Officially No More True Dollar Stores Out There

Show comments
Published by

Recent Posts

The Cast Of The Original ‘MacGyver’ Then And Now 2023

UPDATED JUNE 6, 2023 His mind is the ultimate weapon. The guy who once said,…

47 mins ago

Why Brooke Shields Warned Her Daughter Not To Pursue Modeling

Former supermodel, Brooke Shields, found herself in a fix when her younger daughter, Grier, expressed…

1 hour ago

Why Kirstie Alley Was Gifted A Shotgun As A Welcome Gift On The Set Of ‘Cheers’

The late Kirstie Alley got an unconventional gift when she joined the popular TV series…

11 hours ago

Farrah Fawcett Was Relentless In Her Struggles With Cancer, Says Close Friend

Charlie's Angels star Farrah Fawcett fought a public and courageous battle with cancer after she…

13 hours ago

Disneyland Visitors Officially Say Goodbye To Splash Mountain

Since its opening in 1955, Disneyland has grown, transformed, and replaced parts of its familiar…

14 hours ago

61-Year-Old ‘Partridge Family’ Star Danny Bonaduce Undergoing Brain Surgery

Danny Bonaduce, star of the '70s musical sitcom The Partridge Family, is undergoing brain surgery.…

19 hours ago