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Coupons ‘in every crevice’: FBI shares more about Virginia Beach woman’s $31 million-plus coupon scheme – Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach, Virginia 2021-10-21 15:02:19 –

VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach woman who participated in a $ 31 million counterfeit coupon fraud program, one prosecutor said was one of the largest coupon fraud activities ever discovered in the United States, one million. He said he had a coupon over $. The FBI says when it is searched.

In its release Thursday, the FBI shared new details about Lorient Tarens’ operations. Talens, 41 years old and her husband Pacifico Talens, 43 years old, Just received a ruling last month He ordered a multi-year scheme to pay $ 31.8 million in reparations.

In 2012, Lori Ann, the mastermind behind the Master Chef project, was sentenced to seven years in prison for Pacifico, who helped ship coupons to a pair of subscribers found in a social media group.

The operation of large subscribers lasted for about three years from April 2017 to May 2020, and Talens was paid a total of about $ 400,000 by those subscribers. According to the FBI, the service had to send a copy of the ID and provide proof that it had previously used a counterfeit coupon to confirm that the customer accepted some risk. All communication was done in an encrypted app and new members were only allowed if referred by another member.

Tarens himself also used coupons to buy everything from remodeling luxury homes such as new kitchens, solariums and underground pools to travel and shopping.

According to the FBI, she paid little or no money for the products she consumed. The $ 31.8 million refund was only a conservative estimate of the amount that Tarens and his associates stole from retailers. And there were far more significant discounts than the usual $ 1 discount, and there was a huge amount of coupons overall.

“She had a $ 24.99 coupon from a $ 25 diaper box, and that would work,” said Postal Inspection Jason Thomasson.

Thomasson says he didn’t know how big the fraud plan was when he was warned by Coupon Information Corporation, inspired by one of Talens’ customers. He has partnered in a case with FBI special agent Shannon Brill.

According to Brill, store cashiers usually don’t ask about coupons from customers. “It’s not their job.”

Basically, if a coupon is scanned correctly, the store will respect it and it may take some time for the coupon to be recognized as fraudulent. Coupons are usually sent from the store to a central coupon clearinghouse where they are collected and the manufacturer is billed for their value.

With strong computer design skills and marketing background, Talens manipulates barcodes to make almost every grocery store or drugstore product “indistinguishable from a real coupon” at a discounted price. I was able to set. Some were even higher than the price of the item.

Eventually, authorities issued a search warrant at Tarens’s home, finding over $ 1 million in hidden coupons and over 13,000 coupon designs on her computer.

“There were coupons in every jacket pocket. They were packed in her car,” said Thomasson.

Authorities say the plan may seem trivial overall, but it’s targeted at large retailers for years, but its impact can hurt consumers. Said.

“Someone has to eat those losses,” said Thomasson. “It will eventually flow to us, the consumer.”

While Talens is in jail, the FBI says the case isn’t over yet. People involved in the plan could be heard from the investigators.

Coupons ‘in every crevice’: FBI shares more about Virginia Beach woman’s $31 million-plus coupon scheme Source link Coupons ‘in every crevice’: FBI shares more about Virginia Beach woman’s $31 million-plus coupon scheme

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