Three Arizona women took extreme couponing to a whole new level.
Phoenix police arrested 40-year-old Robin Ramirez, 42-year-old Amiko Fountain and 54-year-old Marilyn Johnson on July 10 after the trio was discovered running a counterfeit coupon ring, the Associated Press reported. Police recovered $40 million worth of fake coupons from the women's homes, according to KPHO, a local TV local station.
An eight-week investigation was a joint effort by the Phoenix Police Department, the FBI and several large manufacturers including Proctor & Gamble. Up to 40 major manufacturers were affected by the illegal operation, Yahoo Finance reported.
The women allegedly sold the fake “high value” coupons online through sites that include Savvyshoppersite.com (which is now unavailable) and eBay, according to a release by Coupon Information Center, which helped coordinate the investigation.
In addition to the fake coupons, officers seized $2 million in assets from the three homes, including vehicles worth $240,000, 22 guns and a 40-foot speed boat, according to Time. Sgt. David Lake of the Phoenix Police Department described the women’s lavish lifestyles as the “equivalent of drug cartel-type stuff," according to KPHO.
The three suspects were charged with illegal control of an enterprise, forgery, counterfeiting, fraudulent schemes and artifices and trafficking in stolen property, KCTV reports.