(HorizonPost.com) – Companies offer coupons to customers as a way to market certain products for sale, giving people an incentive to purchase their wares in hopes of gaining a loyal buyer. The FBI recently caught a couple who weren’t just using coupons for deals but creating them illegally. In September, the court sentenced the couple to prison for the $31.8-million fraud scheme, one of the largest counterfeiting coupon operations discovered in US history.
Running their theft operation from Virginia Beach on Facebook and Telegram under the name MasterChef, Lori Ann Talens and her husband, Pacifico, saved more than $1 million over 3 years. Upon investigation, the FBI found counterfeit coupons in “every crevice” of the duo’s home.
— The Hill (@thehill) October 25, 2021
Not only did their scam allow them to steal from manufacturers, but they collected about $400,000 in membership fees from those who joined their Facebook group. In addition, the Talens defrauded Medicaid and utilized the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) designed for struggling Americans.
After they pleaded guilty to the charges against them, the court sentenced Ms. Talens to 12 years in prison, while Mr. Talens will serve 7 years. Authorities are still reviewing the case and investigating everyone who participated in the fraudulent operation to see if anyone else will face charges.
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