2 women charged with Stop & Shop coupon scheme
Two women have been charged with making high-quality fake coupons to steal more than $25,000 in products from Stop & Shop stores in Massachusetts and Rhode Island this year, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Taunton residents Jacqueline White, 41, and Crystal Travis, 40, are both facing grand jury charges of larceny for the alleged scheme between March and June, according to the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office. White was also indicted on a charge of organized retail theft.
The women bought about $26,547 in products like soap and laundry supplies in bulk and used "high quality, counterfeit coupons that contained barcodes and graphic designs that mirrored legitimate third-party coupons" to dramatically cut down the cost, prosecutors said in a news release. They'd then re-sell the products online, mainly on Facebook, at a steep discount.
On March 10, when the scheme began, they used the fake coupons to pay $3.28 on $1,658.28 worth of products including drinks, soap and laundry detergent — 366 items in total, prosecutors said. They allegedly shopped at Stop & Shops in 13 Massachusetts communities, including Quincy, Weymouth, Brockton and New Bedford, as well as East Providence and Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Between March 10 and June 2, prosecutors said, White and Travis bought:
They were caught after the Coupon Information Center, a coupon fraud-fighting nonprofit in Florida, told White they'd identified her "as a person associated with illegal counterfeit coupon activities and to cease activity," prosecutors said, but she allegedly continued the scheme.
Police in Hingham and Abington conducted the investgiation, police said.
White and Travis were due to be arraigned in Brockton Superior Court. It wasn't immediately clear if they had attorneys who could speak to the charges.Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.