Have you ever come across a good coupon and wish you had more? Then why not photocopy it and use as many as you want? Especially if it can help you score thousands of dollars in overage!

You might want to think twice about such a brilliant plan, though, because it could land you in a heap of trouble – as two former Albertsons employees found out the hard way.

22-year-old Kayla Armitage and her sister-in-law, 21-year-old Kindra Armitage (pictured above, left to right) pleaded guilty yesterday to a felony charge of forgery or counterfeiting. The two Williston, North Dakota residents were arrested back in May for using photocopied coupons for Tide PODS at their store, earning overage and putting it all on gift cards.

Police were called to the Williston Albertsons store on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. Store managers told them that the two women “made multiple copies” of Tide coupons and used them “multiple times”.

How many is “multiple”? Enough to get between $21,000 and $25,000 in overage.


The police report notes that getting cash back from a transaction with a negative balance would require a manager’s approval. So “instead of notifying a manager, Kayla and Kindra would balance the transaction by putting money on Visa and Mastercard gift cards.” Store managers said the scam had been going on for at least a month, and their total loss might even have been higher.

After taking the two into custody, police searched Kayla’s car. Inside, they found “multiple” (there’s that word again) Visa and Mastercard gift cards, more than 20 Tide coupons and a bunch of Tide PODS packages. They also found “a 2-week notice hand written letter in her waistband”, indicating that Kayla was thinking of quitting while she was ahead – but was just a little too late.

Police did not specify the value of the coupons, nor whether the originals were legitimate to begin with. But Tide coupons are rarely if ever high enough in value to result in overage, so there’s a good chance the “original” Tide PODS coupons weren’t even authentic.

Kayla’s attorney claims the two didn’t know that what they were doing was wrong. According to the Williston Herald, which attended their court hearing, defense attorney Jeff Nehring acknowledged that their behavior was “negligent and reckless”, but that the two had no “criminal intent”. He claims they “did not read the fine print on the offers, and weren’t aware that photocopies were illegal.”

The two women reached a plea agreement, admitting guilt to the forgery or counterfeiting charge, while a second charge of theft was dismissed. They faced a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $20,000 fine, but managed to avoid both. Instead, they were each sentenced to two years of probation, and their case will ultimately be dismissed if they stay out of trouble during that time. In the meantime, they’ve been banned from Albertsons, and will have to pay restitution once it’s determined exactly how much they made off with, minus the value of the gift cards that police seized.

Meanwhile, no word on the fate of all of those Tide PODS. The two women have a felony conviction hanging over their heads for the next two years, they have to figure out how to earn enough money to pay back all that they stole (after having lost their jobs), and they’ve learned a hard lesson about the perils of photocopying coupons. But look on the bright side – at least their clothes will be clean.

Image source: Williams County Sheriff’s Office / JeepersMedia

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