Virginia Beach Couple Pleads Guilty To $31 Million Fake Coupon Scam

By Bill Galluccio

May 2, 2021

A couple from Virginia Beach pleaded guilty to multiple federal charges for running a counterfeit coupon scheme that cost retailers more than $31 million. Prosecutors said that Lori Ann Talens, 41, and her husband Pacifico Talens, 43, created over 13,000 fake coupons from 2017 to 2020 and sold them to people online.

Officials said that Lori Ann did most of the work while her husband was aware of the scheme and assisted her with administrative tasks. When federal agents raided the couple's home, they confiscated more than $1 million worth of fake coupons. They were also accused of defrauding the government for applying for Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and failing to disclose their income.

"These defendants orchestrated a nationwide scheme to make and sell counterfeit coupons, which defrauded businesses out of more than $31 million," said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. "Counterfeiting coupons harms the entire retail industry and causes financial loss to consumers, businesses, and the economy. As this case demonstrates, those who use illegal get-rich-quick schemes to deceive others will be brought to justice."

Lori Ann pleaded guilty to wire fraud, mail fraud, and health care fraud and faces up to 50 years in prison. Pacifico faces up to 20 years in jail after pleading guilty to charges of mail fraud.

Photo: Getty Images

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