A Virginia woman sold $31.8 million worth of counterfeit coupons to thrifty shoppers and used the funds from her racket for high-end home renovations and vacations, according to new information released by the FBI.
Lori Ann Talens, 41, was sentenced to 12 years in prison last month after pleading guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud, and health care fraud in April. Her husband, 43-year-old Pacifico Talens Jr., supported the scheme and was sentenced to more than 7 years in prison.
The "criminal couponer" used her graphic design skills to manipulate barcodes and create coupons for almost any store and any product, the FBI said.
With a background in marketing, she was then able to sell the coupons through social media groups for coupon enthusiasts. Talens shielded herself from authorities by using encrypted communication services to deal with her customers and by using cryptocurrencies for payments.