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If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

If a coupon doesn’t exist, but you ring it up anyway, do you still get the discount?

41-year-old Denice Reed of Easton, Pennsylvania may not have spent much time pondering philosophy during her shifts as a supervisor at CVS. But she apparently discovered that yes, if you ring up nonexistent coupons, you do indeed get a discount.

And then you get busted.

Reed was arrested on Tuesday and charged with falsely entering $3,000 worth of coupons during transactions in which no coupons were actually used.

Back in September, store management called police to report that “there were multiple days that cash was missing from the office” during Reed’s shift, according to the police incident report. An internal investigation discovered “multiple instances of coupons being redeemed during Reed’s transactions, but there was no evidence the coupons actually existed”.

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Management told police that they confronted her, and she admitted that she fraudulently keyed in coupons “so she could help out customers that she knew”. She promised that “she did not receive any of the proceeds from the coupon scam”. But she did apparently receive proceeds from her register drawer and the store’s safe – management says she admitted taking a total of $500 in cash for herself, over a period of about six months.

Reed promised to pay back the $3,500, and was promptly fired. Since then, management told police they “may have discovered additional money missing and also believe she may have stolen money from co-workers.”

So police put out a warrant for her arrest a couple of weeks ago.

And she turned up shortly after midnight on Halloween, when officers were called to her address to investigate a domestic dispute. They ran her name through the system, found the warrant, and took her into custody on felony charges of theft and receiving stolen property. If convicted, she faces up to seven years in prison.

In the meantime, she’s cooling her heels behind bars, unable to pay her $15,000 bail while she awaits her next court appearance.

So if a convicted coupon criminal is forced to pay the price for her misdeeds – will anyone have any sympathy? It’s a philosophical question that Reed now has plenty of time to ponder.

Image sources: Northampton County Jail / JeepersMedia

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