Given the amount of media coverage her case has received over the past year, everyone in her community knows that Crystal Travis was involved in a counterfeit coupon scheme. But that’s about the worst punishment she’ll face, after agreeing to a plea deal that’s likely to keep her out of prison.

41-year-old Travis of Taunton, Massachusetts was sentenced last week to 18 months of probation, on a single charge of larceny. The sentence comes ten months after she and her alleged accomplice, 41-year-old Jacqueline White, were indicted on charges of operating an organized counterfeit coupon ring.

From March through June of last year, prosecutors said the two women used at least 3,365 counterfeit coupons to steal approximately $26,547 worth of products from eighteen different Stop & Shop grocery stores in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Last year’s indictment alleges that White began creating “high quality, counterfeit coupons that contained barcodes and graphic designs that mirrored legitimate third-party coupons,” after gaining access to fraudulent coupon templates in a private Facebook group (several of the counterfeit coupons she’s accused of creating are pictured above). At some point after she allegedly began using her coupons at local Stop & Shop locations, prosecutors said Travis joined her, and the two embarked on shopping trips across the region.

The indictment described how loyalty card records and surveillance video showed the duo visiting numerous Stop & Shop stores, loading up on household items like laundry detergent, body wash, cleaning products, razors, beauty products, air fresheners and more.


While many counterfeit coupon users tend to prefer self-checkouts, where they can better avoid scrutiny while scanning their fake coupons, Travis and White allegedly targeted “unsuspecting cashiers,” often late at night. “The high quality of the counterfeiting made it nearly impossible” for those cashiers “to detect the deceit,” the indictment explained.

And that deceit was lucrative – in just one of many shopping trips, prosecutors said the two headed to checkout with 366 items worth $1,658.28, and ended up owing just $3.28 after all of their counterfeit coupons were scanned.

The women then “bragged about their theft online,” the indictment states, accusing them of advertising their “hauls” for sale to followers. “All new!” a Facebook post from Travis reads. “Overstock of household items, looking to sell for a great deal!”

Instead, her “overstock” sales and counterfeit couponing days appear to be over. As part of her plea agreement, Travis must stay away from all Stop & Shop stores and refrain from committing any other crimes. After 18 months, if she has stayed out of trouble, her case will be dismissed. As for White, whom prosecutors have described as the ringleader of the operation, she faces more serious charges of larceny and organized retail theft. Her case has not yet concluded.

While the occasional multimillion-dollar counterfeit coupon case tends to make headlines, schemes like this one that involve fewer coupons and fewer dollars often fly under the radar. Not in this case, though, as Boston media quickly picked up on the story last August, and the women’s names, photos and alleged misdeeds quickly spread online, in print and on the air.

But even a $27,000 counterfeit coupon scam can have serious consequences. “The defendants’ scheme harmed retailers, manufacturers nationwide, and the economy,” the indictment pointed out. “Honest couponers suffer from the defendants’ theft in the form of fewer coupons and reduced face values as affected companies recover their losses in other ways.”

Travis’s record will be free and clear if she completes her probation in a year and a half. For the rest of us, though, the consequences of her crime may last far longer.

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