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Coupon “glitchers”, who seek out coupons that scan on items for which they’re not intended, often like to do their glitching at Walmart. Many find it easier to get away with glitching there, either because of easily-fooled self-checkout machines, or inattentive cashiers who don’t question their coupons.

Sometimes, though, it’s not an inattentive cashier they want, but a very attentive one – especially if that cashier is a glitcher, too.

Police in Council Bluffs, Iowa say Walmart cashier Keisha Kephart (pictured above, at left) was in cahoots with customer Jeri Atilano (pictured at right), in a glitching and fraud scheme that netted them more than $4,000 in free and discounted merchandise.

That is, until Walmart caught on, and police busted them both.

24-year-old Kephart was convicted for her role in the crime last week, after pleading guilty to second-degree theft. She was arrested last December, after Walmart loss prevention called police. They became suspicious of several of Kephart’s transactions, so they pulled surveillance footage, and noticed that each suspicious transaction involved a particular customer who frequently came through her line.

Investigators said Kephart would knowingly accept high-value coupons for lower-priced items on which the coupons were not valid, making many of the items free. That’s what “glitching” is all about, for the uninitiated – taking advantage of weaknesses in coupons’ bar codes and retailers’ registers, which allow manufacturer’s coupons to be used on just about any product by that same manufacturer, no matter the wording on the coupon itself.

And if her customer didn’t have a coupon, police said Kephart would just mark down the price and call it an “ad match” for a competitor’s price.

At the time of Kephart’s arrest, investigators had a good idea who her partner in crime was. But it took them until January to arrest 30-year-old Atilano. Initially, police said the two made off with $2,059 in merchandise over a four-month period that began in August. But Walmart later estimated their losses to be over $4,000.

Police did not say how the proceeds were divvied up, or who was the mastermind of the operation. But Kephart had just started working at Walmart four months prior to the start of the scheme, and she had a clean criminal record other than a couple of traffic tickets. Atilano, however, has a longer history of run-ins with the law, including a previous theft conviction.

Kephart cut her losses by pleading guilty. By doing so – and agreeing to testify against Atilano – she avoided jail time. Instead, she was sentenced to two years of probation, and ordered to pay an as-yet-unspecified amount of restitution to Walmart, as well as $1,015 in fines and court costs, which will be reduced if she completes 75 hours of community service.

A day after Kephart’s plea, though, Atilano pleaded not guilty. She now faces an April trial date on charges of second degree theft, conspiracy to commit a non-forcible felony and ongoing criminal conduct, unless she reaches a plea agreement before then.

In the meantime, coupon glitchers in Council Bluffs can bet that the cashiers at their local Walmart will be looking at their coupons a lot more closely now. And it’s a good bet that Walmart will be looking a lot more closely at their cashiers, too.

Images: Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office / JeepersMedia

47 Comments

  1. these women were not stealing ….fraud yes stealing no she had a receipt I hear a possible lawsuit.

  2. shop somewhere else Wal-Mart used to be the best store to coupon Damn coupon police …

  3. maybe I will somewhere else if I being looked under the microscope so hard.

  4. people who cares about this store . these poor women are in jail…that’s unfair!

    • Poor women??? I have to pay the TRUE FAIR way. They were cheating. Is it ok for YOU to pay full price and others get the same for free, by cheating? Poor women my butt !!

  5. country girl says:

    I agree my Fred meijor has always said if the coupon scans they will take it. and I was also told they do get paid….stop the lies …..go shopping and support the economy!!! please everyone don’t use fake coupons…. read about that target case on here totally different…God bless everyone…

  6. I agree stop the arrest of innocent people at these major retailers…..what they did was not the worst I heard…

  7. so sad these women were arrested ..this should of never happened.

  8. first of all who cares if the manufacturer is losing money most of there products are produced over seas and our use to have jobs are over there stupid coupon police….there is always a way to justify for crap you want us to believe.

  9. Ashley your a idiot how can you prove to the world that these stores don’t get reimbursed in any way I highly doubt that they don’t get the money in most cases once again another dumba!$ trying to make people feel sorry for them… and once again Ashley your a idiot it is not shoplifting when you have a receipt in your hand walking out the store all one needs is a good lawyer to sue for that cotton picking lie…..

  10. If the coupon is not used legitimately, the retailer is not reimbursed for it. If the retailer loses money in this way, it is shrink, just like shoplifting. And if there is a lot of shrink, someone will need to pay for that, and the costs associated with it, and that is usually the consumer in the form of higher prices. And who gives a rats butt what Walmart does or doesn’t do for their community. What these women did is wrong anywhere, and two wrong acts will never be equal to a right act! I don’t understand how you justify it as anything but dishonest theft because that is exactly what this is.

  11. people get over yourself over the coupon issues these mega supermarkets and manufacturers have all of our money msglitter is right none of you silly women have said anything about the theft these retailers do. who gives a sh1@ as long as there not counterfeit coupons I got better things to read at night…

    • Honest Couponer says:

      Yeah, you’re right, msg sherry, and I’m sorry I ever challenged anything you people are doing. So go ahead and return to the retailer of your choice and continue on with your criminal activity. Just remember, the day of reckoning will one day be here for all of us! God bless…!

  12. she the customer did not have a problem when it comes to coupons she found out she could be a extreme couponer for a living nothing wrong with that …she should of always moved around instead of abusing the store she frequented if I was on the jury trial not guilty….all of these retailers have robbed many of communities across America as long as she is not using counterfeit coupons I have no problem with what she did ….you people on here are dumb worried about a Damn Wal-Mart who legally steals target publix Fred meijer Kroger is also a bunch of crooks..

    • Honest Couponer says:

      In addition to being a very unethical person, you are also extremely stupid, msglitter! It is not the Walmarts of the world who are getting hurt by this activity, it is the manufacturers who issue the coupons. Bottom line is that if you intentionally misuse a coupon, you are committing a crime!!! How hard is that for your pea-brain to understand!?

  13. Behind the scenes look says:

    It’s not what any of you think. All of these articles and reports are blowing things out of proportion and not giving the full information. The cashier that was arrested was NOT the only cashier that took her coupons. There were at least 2 others. Why are they not listed? And as for the stealing of items, the cashier didn’t get “half of the merchandise” or “profits”. The greedy shopper would sell her items for money and brag about how much she was making from selling her items. She may have provided some “gifts” in exchange for the help of the cashier but she took advantage of the situation and the cashier’s generosity. Wal-Mart was NOT the only place she abused coupons. When Wal-Mart dried up she moved on to Target until she made using coupons difficult at Target. She had an addiction that was well beyond anything the cashier ever helped with. She was warned by friends to stop multiple times but she didn’t. So yes it was wrong for the cashier to help her but the cashier was no mastermind not was she an accomplice. The shopper just used her as a means to an end.

  14. It is high time for these ‘glitching’ facebook groups to be sought out and shut-down. I cannot even use printed coupons in my local Walmart anymore because they have been so overrun with fraud and abuse of the system. The absolute greed by a certain element within the couponing world is disgusting and these people should be ashamed.

    • Bailey's mom says:

      I joined a group since I was new to it and about two weeks later my son, who is a manager at CVS, explained what they are promoting I actually illegal. CVS is taking big steps to stop people that are intentionally frauding stores. Esp since the extra care cards has all of their personal information. Its no different than going in to a store and just walking out with the items since the stores do not get reimbursed by manufacturers. And the employees that miss the coupons although they go through are the ones getting in trouble for it. Its a shame some people have no conscience! I coupon the honest way and will soon start classes to teach others how they can save without having to scam merchants!

  15. Texascouponingmom says:

    .

  16. Texascouponingmom says:

    What these ladies did is wrong no ifs ands or buts about it… but i do have to disagree when i have a high dollar coupon say a 3.00 off any revlon product manufacturer coupon that came in my sunday paper and i find a single eyeshadow for 2.24 giving my 76 cents of overage how am i in the wrong? How does that constitute fraud when the coupon didnt exclude any product… also in this scenerio i didnt have a store price match it was there every day price . With my overage i purchased some items i had coupons for and others i did not…
    I dont feel its wrong to use a coupon on a product if the product isnt excluded on the coupon itself… if the manufacturer didnt want it to be used in that way or on that product or size of a product it should be specified

    • There is NOTHING wrong with you getting 76 cents of overage. That IS legal and it is stated in the Walmart coupon policy. So please don’t feel like you are breaking a law. These women manipulated prices to provide overage. Which is stealing. What you did is NOT stealing.

  17. people on here just don’t get conterfit coupons are the kiss of death to any store how many coupons on average do people missuse??? I think people on here are ridiculous to try and shame people for how they choose to use there coupons… and back to my point how much money does a Wal-Mart store extract from a small community ? and you idiots get mad because someone finds a glitch for a real non counterfeit coupon give me a break people smh..

    • Anti Walmart says:

      Walmart is the largest recipient of corporate welfare in this country, from paying their workers wages they can’t possibly make a living out of. At the same time the Walton family is one of the richest in this country. I couldn’t give a rat’s “you know what” about them losing a few bucks. I don’t shop there, but rip em off I say!

  18. if they don’t fix there computers then it’s nobody’s fault people have misused coupons for years from grandma’s to scammers i have no problem with people catching glitches as long as the store gets paid for it nothing illegal there big retailers have stolen from communties for years and I don’t here you people complaining about that….

    • Honest Couponer says:

      Some of you people just don’t get it! If you have a $4 Loreal coupon, (that was intended for a high-value Loreal product) and you intentionally mis-use it on a $4 bottle of Loreal base shampoo, thus getting the shampoo for free, that is the equivalent of shoplifting! How is that any different than just stuffing the $4 bottle of shampoo into your purse and running out of the store without paying for it. Both actions are the same from a Legal perspective. The coupon mis-use example is called “theft by deception”! Look it up!!!

  19. Coupon In The News is not bogus
    If you think it is….try it

    The Qseer App is a real illegal issue in a case like this.
    And crap like this make couponing difficult

  20. The arrest was because of marking down prices saying ad match when it was not an ad match. you can not arrest someone because walmart computers said a coupon was okay.

    • They were also scanning coupons for products they did not buy.

      That is what people are using the QSEER APP for.

      • There was no price matching involved. Read again

        • And if her customer didn’t have a coupon, police said Kephart would just mark down the price and call it an “ad match” for a competitor’s price.
          It does indeed say that.

        • Maybe you should read again. “And if her customer didn’t have a coupon, police said Kephart would just mark down the price and call it an “ad match” for a competitor’s price.” Directly from above.

    • In many cases like this, people will use a $3.00 off one bottle of Tide coupon towards a $1.99 Pampers wipes, because they’re made by the same company and it will sometimes, not always scan. When that happens, cashiers have the ability to manually override and accept the coupon despite the computer’s prompt.

  21. Love to GLITTER says:

    Your blog is very biased. You’re not a real news source. This blog is intended to scare people. How much do you get paid to be the Coupon Police?

    • Lol your such an idiot. Just follow the rules stop being a little weasel trying to get away with overages that are not valid. If you followed the rules you wouldn’t be so butt hurt.

    • Honest Couponer says:

      All the author is doing is summarizing the pertinent facts from a police report! How does that make someone the Coupon Police!? In the meantime, please stop committing coupon fraud by glittering, glitching, or however you choose to define it! You are ruining it for the majority of us who legitimately use coupons!

    • Says the person who likes to ‘glitter’. Don’t worry, we know you’re one of these glitchers too.

    • HATE people who GLITTER says:

      Love to GLITTER, you’re an idiot. I read this blog because they show when people get busted. When 10,000 people share a glitch, glitter, in those secret facebook groups and they run to the store and SCAM the store it ends up hurting everyone it the long run. $5 says you’ve got a criminal record a mile long and that you love scamming. shame on you.

      there should be a coupon police for dumb sorry ass hats like you

  22. Yes..I must Agree

  23. It’s low life’s like this that give honest couponers a bad name!!

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