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It doesn’t pay to break the law, even if it seems like it does at first. Police are really cracking down on coupon fraud.
In Iowa, 31 year old Jeri Atilano was convicted of second-degree theft this week. This comes roughly four months after the conviction of the Wal-Mart cashier, 25 year old Keisha Kephart, that was helping her break the law by committing mass amounts of coupon and price-match fraud
Kephart’s employers became suspicious that she was moving a lot of merchandise, but not getting much money for it. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the cashier was accepting high-value coupons for low-price items they were not intended and also manually inputting “price matches” on items when no such competitor prices actually existed.
So they called police. Kephart was arrested last December, and charged with causing her employer a loss of some $4,000 worth of merchandise over several months beginning that August.
This time, police also tracked down the couponer that Kephart helped break the law. Atilano was identified and arrested in January. She was charged not only with second-degree theft, but also conspiracy to commit a non-forcible felony and ongoing criminal conduct.
Kephart accepted a plea deal, which included two years of probation and orders to pay $2,059.47 in restitution to Walmart plus $1,015 in fines and court costs. Atilano, however, went to trial. She was convictedo f second-degree theft and sentenced to time already served after her arrest, plus two years of probation. She was also ordered to pay an unspecified amount of restitution and $281 in court costs.
Do you think their punishments were severe enough?
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