VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A husband and wife from Virginia Beach are accused of operating an online counterfeit coupon scheme.
Lori Ann Talens is facing mail fraud, wire fraud and healthcare fraud charges.
Federal authorities say between April 2017 and May 2020, Lori allegedly fraudulently designed, created and distributed counterfeit coupons from her Virginia Beach home and sold them over the internet to individual customers and coupon enthusiasts.
Her husband, Pacifico, allegedly helped her with the execution of the scheme by helping with shipments and other administrative tasks at her direction.
Federal documents state that Lori and Pacifico created, used and possessed more than 13,000 separate and distinct counterfeit coupon designs, and $31,817,997 of counterfeit coupons were redeemed at a variety of retailers across the United States through this scheme.
Records indicate that additionally, about $1 million in counterfeit coupons were seized from the defendant's house during the execution of a federal search warrant.
According to court documents, these counterfeit coupons were virtually indistinguishable from authentic coupons and were often created with inflated values, far in excess of what an authentic coupon would offer.
Lori allegedly communicated with coupon enthusiasts through social media outlets like Facebook and Telegram, and accepted payment through a variety of platforms, including Bitcoin and PayPal.
Lori is also facing healthcare fraud charges. Federal authorities accuse her of fraudulently signing up for S.N.A.P. and Medicaid, and say she failed to report her husband’s employment and the income she generated from the alleged counterfeit coupon business.
It states there was a loss of $35,000 through Medicare and more than $7,500 used in S.N.A.P. benefits.
Defense Attorney Lawrence Woodward issued a statement to News 3 saying he can confirm that he represents Lori but cannot comment on the case.
Lori previously served on the Asian Business Association of Hampton Roads from 2013 to 2015.
Pacifico's attorney, Emily Munn, had no comment about the case.