One of the most notorious coupon counterfeiters in recent years isn’t due to be released from prison until 2031. But now she’s looking to cut her sentence short and get out sooner.

Virginia Beach resident Lori Ann Talens has asked a federal judge to reconsider her 12-year prison sentence, which she received for running a $31 million counterfeit coupon operation. Prosecutors called it “one of the biggest counterfeit coupon schemes in history,” and had urged the judge to impose “a significant sentence of incarceration” in order to dissuade other “would-be fraudsters from attempting the same fraud themselves.”

Since her 2021 sentencing, though, there’s been a change in the federal sentencing guidelines. Under the 2023 Criminal History Amendment, which took effect at the beginning of this month, nonviolent first-time criminal offenders are now subject to lighter sentencing ranges. The new guidelines can be applied retroactively, which, as the United States Sentencing Commission explains, means “eligible incarcerated individuals will be able to ask courts to reduce their sentences.”

So Talens has done so. “I hereby respectfully request a modification or reduction of my sentence,” Talens wrote in a court filing, noting that she is a nonviolent first-time criminal offender. The judge in her case had already instructed the U.S. Probation Office in his district “to prepare recalculation worksheets” for all incarcerated offenders impacted by the new sentencing guidelines.


After pleading guilty to various fraud charges, Talens initially faced a maximum prison sentence of up to 19 years, 7 months. The judge took into consideration her acceptance of responsibility for her crimes, in imposing a reduced sentence of 12 years. But the revised sentencing guidelines could make her eligible for a shortened sentence of 8 to 9 years.

It would still be a significant penalty for a woman who used her graphic design skills to defraud manufacturers out of tens of millions of dollars, pocketing several hundred thousand dollars for herself in the process. It began innocently enough, as Talens described starting a Facebook group “to share savings and sales deals with other coupon enthusiasts.” Over time, though, Talens admitted to learning how to create her own coupons on her home computer, which she then printed and sold to members of her Facebook group. Over a period of at least three years, prosecutors said she printed and sold more than 13,000 different counterfeit coupons for at least 132 different brands, with a face value of more than $31 million.

It was one of the largest-ever counterfeit coupon cases, resulting in the longest-ever prison sentence for a convicted counterfeiter. That’s earned Talens her share of notoriety, even from behind bars. Last year, her story was featured on an episode of the ABC-TV true-crime series The Con, which promises “shocking tales of deceit and fraud, revealing the con artist’s schemes, devastating costs, and hope for justice.” Earlier this year, Talens asked the judge in her case to reduce or defer the amount she needed to pay toward settling her $31 million restitution order. The judge denied her request.

Talens likely hopes to have better luck with her request for a reduction in her sentence. She and her estranged husband, who is also doing time for assisting with her scheme, have three young children who are currently living with their grandparents, growing up without their incarcerated parents. So the sooner she can regain her freedom, she says, the better. “I really want to be with my family,” she said in a brief jailhouse interview with The Con.

Given that Talens’s sentence was already reduced below the prevailing sentencing guidelines at the time, it’s not certain her prison term will be reduced even further. But it can’t hurt to ask. The U.S. Sentencing Commission estimates that some 7,300 current federal prisoners are eligible to seek a reduction in their sentence. It will ultimately be up to a federal judge to decide whether someone accustomed to paying a reduced price with her fake coupons, will be able to count on getting at least 25% off her prison sentence as well.

Image source: FBI


  1. hello I’d like to know more on this

  2. Don’t forget about her children and her husband Pacifico is also sentenced to prison at the same time. Masterchef was a narcissist bitch but I don’t know that she deserved to have her family ripped apart with a 12 year sentence. Not when the Pearsons get five years probation and Robin Ramirez + Beau Watigney serve 2-3 years for equivalent crimes.

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