Home » Law & Government » Public Safety » A Woman from Virginia Beach Produced $31.8 Million in Counterfeit Coupons. She was Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison, While Her Husband was Sentenced to 7 for Being Aware of the Scheme.

A Woman from Virginia Beach Produced $31.8 Million in Counterfeit Coupons. She was Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison, While Her Husband was Sentenced to 7 for Being Aware of the Scheme.

Lori Ann Talens, born in Norfolk, Virginia, is almost 42 years old. She is the brains behind the biggest coupon fraud scam in the US. Lori planned the coupon fraud operation while she was a young mother and businesswoman in Virginia Beach. But how long is Lori Ann Talens’ sentence for producing fake coupons?

She was found guilty of “committing a counterfeit coupon fraud scheme” and given a 12-year sentence. Because he was aware of the arrangement and benefited from it, her spouse received a 7-year prison term.

The Fake Coupons Scheme

Using social media platforms and applications like Facebook and Telegram, Lori Ann Villanueva Talens ran a sophisticated strategy to track down communities of coupon lovers and offer them fake coupons. In her Virginia Beach home, Lori Ann Talens, who went by the internet alias “MasterChef,” designed, created, and produced a wide range of fake coupons using a computer. These fake coupons were so similar to real ones that it was difficult to tell them apart. They were frequently manufactured with inflated values far higher than what an actual coupon would offer to get goods from stores for nothing or a significantly lower cost.

Lori Ann Talens would use the U.S. to send fake coupons throughout the country as part of the scam. The Postal Service and other businesses provide delivery services. She took payment for the fake coupons using several online payment services, such as Paypal and Bitcoin. Pacifico Talens Jr., a 43-year-old husband of Lori Ann, was aware of the counterfeit coupon plan, benefited from it, and helped run the business by delivering packages containing the fake coupons and carrying out other duties as instructed by his wife. (Source: Justice)

How was the Scheme Found?

When one of the Talens’ clients reported them to the Coupon Information Center (CIC), a group of consumer goods producers committed to coupon integrity, the scheme was uncovered. The CIC bought coupons from the Talens, determined they were fake and contacted the US. to Postal Inspection Service for additional research.

Federal law enforcement issued a search order on the defendants’ homes after determining that they were the source of the fake coupons. Agents searched the home and found roughly $1 million worth of fake coupons. The Talens’ computer also included images for more than 13,000 various and distinct counterfeit coupon designs. The CIC examined these pictures and contrasted them with known fake coupons currently circulating. The study concluded that the 13,000 fake drawings on the couple’s computer had cost manufacturers and merchants $31,817,997 million in losses due to coupon redemptions. (Source: Justice)

A Separate Scheme

Lori Ann Talens scammed Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in a different scheme from November 2015 to February 2020. Lori Ann Talens enrolled for each program without disclosing her husband Pacifico’s legitimate employment income or their own unlawful counterfeit coupon money. The Talens would only have been eligible for these benefits if she had revealed her income. The overall loss to Medicaid and SNAP was estimated to be $43,000.

In April, both defendants pleaded guilty to mail fraud. Lori Ann Talens also pled guilty to wire fraud and health care fraud. On August 19, Pacifico Talens, Jr. was sentenced to 87 months in prison. (Source: Justice)

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