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5 Bumps

Committing fraud on tv

I'm sure this is much bigger news in the couponing community than the rest of the world, but it is pretty big. TLC started airing Extreme Couponing again. One of their shoppers this week was a woman who was already caught committing coupon fraud after she posted a video of herself doing it on You Tube. She took it down after people pointed out what she was doing was illegal, but duplicate copies are still out there.

You'd think, having already been caught once and losing her job over it, she'd learn her lesson, right? This genius did it again, ON TLC, broadcast around the world. People have been taking freeze frame shots to compile evidence and she's been reported to both the network and the authorities already. (anyone interested in the proof/details of it, there's a blog that's tracking all the work being done on it across multiple sites with links to all of them)

But my real question - if someone commits a crime like this, where they are essentially teaching other people to break the law, but not telling them what they're being told to do is illegal, should it be a more severe penalty than simple fraud?  This woman teaches couponing classes for a fee (after her previous employer fired her, she started her own free lance consulting service).  So she's defrauding the store and her clients, but what happens if one of her clients is arrested for fraud?  Should she be culpable there, too?  If she's charged and convicted on what she's done now, she could potentially already face 10 years in prison.  Should someone else face the same sentance for doing something they learned in her class?

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 1:45 AM on Apr. 8, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • It's a good question, but I don't have any opinion because it's outside my frame of reference.
    Thanks for bringing it to my attention !

    Answer by waldorfmom at 2:37 AM on Apr. 8, 2011

  • Absolutely she should be charged with more than simple fraud. I'm not exactly sure what that charge would be, but she's putting other people in danger of being arrested. There is a very real chance that someone will follow her instructions and be completely unaware that what they're doing is illegal.

    She really is a moron. It's not as though she was unaware. Clearly she knows it's illegal, and she did it on national tv. That's almost too stupid for me to comprehend.

    Answer by DusterMommy at 3:00 AM on Apr. 8, 2011

  • I coupn. A lot. BUT I do it LEGALLY and my family STILL has PLENTY! That stupid TLC show is making normal, sane couponers look bad too! All the coupon blogs I follow were talking about it last night on their pages! I think she should get more time. :( What an awful woman!

    Answer by momof030404 at 3:06 AM on Apr. 8, 2011

  • I'm strange I guess but I feel like you break a law you should see consequences. I was bashed over on the stir for daring to suggest Zaxk Galafanakis (sp) face a penalty for smoking a joint on tv. It's illegal, you know it, there are consequences.I've not seen the show, not my cup of tea, but if the woman is committing fraud she should be charged.

    Answer by sopranomommy at 7:10 AM on Apr. 8, 2011

  • I think if someone were arrested, they have to pay the price of their crime because ignorance of the law is no excuse. But, that person could take her to court civilly and sue and probably win for fraud. When it comes to couponing, I think with some people it is a mental illness. When your time is worth maybe ten bucks an hour and you spend 20 hours a week doing it to save $100 for stuff that is not healthy and you don't have room in your house for anyway that leads to hoarding...yeah...mental illness.


    Answer by jewjewbee at 8:22 AM on Apr. 8, 2011

  • Wow, I didn't know coupons were such a big deal. I saw the show, but never even thought about fraud. I mean coupon fraud, it seems laughable until it's explained. I'm reading the links now and people are really up in arms over this.

    Answer by SuperChicken at 9:09 AM on Apr. 8, 2011

  • i don't have an opinion, as i haven't read any links, but wondering which woman was it? they all look the same to me...perchance was it the one who had over $500 worth but only paid about $6 (due to her couponing)?..because that just blew me away, trying to figure out the hows/come-agains? of her purchase. i still don't see how that worked...if someone could explain it to me, like i'm a 5yo???

    Answer by dullscissors at 9:34 AM on Apr. 8, 2011

  • I read the links and couldn't figure out if she had coupons for specific items how did she use those coupons for other items. Wouldn't the bar codes prevent that? I could never be a criminal-its just to complicated for me. Looking for the answer the way dullscissors I'm a 5 year old.


    Answer by meooma at 9:41 AM on Apr. 8, 2011

  • I saw that was going to be on. Didn't know about the previous problems and I don't know how this woman saves all that money. Did she say she was copying them? If she is proven to be doing something illegal she should be charged but I don't think it's a crime to go on TV before they know if she did anything wrong.

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 10:52 AM on Apr. 8, 2011

  • Well the way it works is that a coupon from a manufacture will sometimes work on another product that they make without beeping at the register.It should not be done and is fraud.

     Also I didn't read the links but some cashiers will trust that you bought the item and over ride it for you especially if you have a ton of coupons.

    To answer the question I do think she should get more then just simple fraud esp. when its repeated behavior and teaching people to do the same thing.

    As far as the people taking her class I think they should be allowed a warning for the first offence after that the gloves are off and charge them too.

    I honestly hate that people do the fraud it makes the sane coupons guilty by association.  I coupon not to the extreme but enough.  Just like shelf cleaners make us look bad this makes us look even worse.


    Answer by Charis76 at 11:01 AM on Apr. 8, 2011

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