A nearly eight-month investigation by Elizabethtown police has led to the indictment and arrest of three Hardin County women who reportedly made tens of thousands of dollars off items purchased and sold through an illegal coupon ring.
According to direct indictments for Tara Lybeck, 30, of Elizabethtown, Lisa Williams, 32, of Radcliff and Harley Miller, 26, of White Mills, the women used the illegal coupons over a 26-month period beginning Jan. 2, 2018, at multiple Walgreen’s and Kroger locations in Hardin County.
Another person, Mary Ann Dillon of Elizabethtown, also is wanted in connection with the theft ring, Elizabethtown Police Department spokesman Chris Denham said.
He said the women made more than $100,000 in using illegal coupons obtained online to buy items such as diapers, baby food, razors and food items, and in turn sold the items to others.
Denham said the women also “made some modifications to the coupons. It’s pretty complex what they were doing.
“The illegal manufacturing of coupons is a huge enterprise around the country,” he said. “They would use the coupons and stores would scan them into their systems and they would obtain items to then sell.”
Denham said police were notified about the activity by stores as well as individuals who bought the items.
The women were indicted last week by a Hardin County grand jury and arrested Wednesday.
They are charged with theft of retail merchandise for resale, a Class C felony punishable by five to 10 years in prison, if convicted. Williams also was indicted on a charge of tampering with physical evidence, a Class D felony punishable by one to five years in prison, if convicted.
All are being held in lieu of a $10,000 cash bond in the Hardin County Detention Center. They are scheduled to appear Tuesday in Hardin Circuit Court.
“Surveillance video played a big role in our investigation as well as our police work,” Denham said. Detective Chase McKeown had been investigating the case since last November, Denham said.
The illegal coupon ring was a multi-county effort, Denham said. He said Grayson and Fayette counties were among the other counties where the women reportedly obtained merchandise.
“Retailers and employees of retailers, if they ever question whether a coupon is valid or not, should contact management,” Denham said. “A lot of times things seem too good to be true and this is one of those cases because it was. A lot of this could have been prevented.”
As part of the bond restrictions for Lybeck, Miller and Williams, the women are not allowed in any Walgreen’s or Kroger store, or to have contact with each other.