Conman and wife snatched £23million using fake coupons to defraud shops

New details have been revealed by the FBI about a $31.8 million (£23 million) counterfeit coupon scheme that landed a couple in prison for a combined total of almost 20 years.

Investigators say they found fake coupons in "every crevice" of the house belonging to Lori Ann Talen and her husband, Pacifico Talens, Jr.

The falsified savings were reportedly worth more than $1 million (£726,000) and they also found designs for coupons of more than 13,000 products on Lori Ann Talens' computer.

In a press release, Special Agent Shannon Brill said: "She trained herself in the different techniques she needed to manipulate barcodes to make these coupons work."

The coupons were created by Talens, who is said to be the mastermind of the whole scheme and were made with discounts of "near or even over" an item's retail value, CNN reports.

The serial coupon created reportedly didn't use them herself and instead sold them to subscribes that found her on social media.

She would communicate with them using an encrypted messaging app.

It is said that she was paid more than $400,000 in digital currencies such as bitcoin and sometimes even "exchanged coupons for stolen rolls of the special paper stores use to print out coupons," the agency said.

The massive three-year scheme was discovered by the Coupon Information Corporation after they received a tip someone was making fraudulent coupons.

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One group of manufacturers said that it lost $125,000 (£90,846) from fake coupons linked to Talens.

Talens was sentenced to 12 years in prison in September for "perpetrating a counterfeit coupon fraud scheme".

According to the Department of Justice, her scheme amounted to $32 million in losses for retailers and manufacturers.

Her husband was sentenced to 7 years in prison as he was aware of the scheme and allegedly profited from it.

Talens said she was "deeply ashamed and embarrassed" by her actions in a statement obtained by the New York Times.

The couple have also been accused of using their fraudulent earnings for high-end home renovations, including remodelling their whole kitchen and building a new pool.

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