Who is Queenpins Based on True Story? How Did Coupon Scam Work?
The comedy Queenpins is based on a true story about two friends involved in a large couponing scheme. Queenpins reunites the Veronica Mars and The Good Place co-stars Kristen Bell and Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Connie Kaminiski and JoJo Johnson, respectively.
— Queenpins Movie (@QueenpinsMovie) September 30, 2021
In the film, Connie receives a discount as an apology after complaining about stale cereal to a firm. This experience inspires an idea that makes her and her best buddy JoJo very wealthy. Three Arizona women, Robin Ramirez, Marilyn Johnson, and Amiko “Amy” Fountain, concocted the couponing scheme on which Queenpins is based.
Queenpins is Based on a Real-life Coupon Scam(Plot)
Queenpins is based on a real-life coupon scam perpetrated by three women in Arizona: Robin Ramirez, Marilyn Johnson, and Amiko “Amy” Fountain. At the time of her arrest, forty-year-old Ramirez was regarded as the group’s ringleader. Johnson, who was 54 at the time, and Fountain, who was 42 at the time, assisted her in the operation, which earned them millions of dollars.
The American true-crime story piqued the interest of Sgt. David Lake of the Phoenix Police Department, told local television station KPHO, “The wealth was comparable to a drug cartel.” Regardless of the women’s financial situation prior to the scheme, by its conclusion, they were living in luxury.
The coupon scam was featured on the CBS documentary series Pink Collar Crimes in 2018, while Queenpins takes a more comedic approach to the story. In contrast, the true story of Queenpins is not humorous, as the women had to pay a hefty fine and serve time for the fraud.
Bebe Rexha, Vince Vaughn, and Joel McHale take supporting roles in the film Queenpins. In Queenpins, Connie and JoJo’s scheme to resell stolen coupons online quickly gains traction, and they are soon at the top of a lucrative criminal enterprise. Connie and JoJo enlist the aid of the tech wiz Tempe Tina in order to elude the police (Bebe Rexha).
A grocery chain’s loss prevention officer, Ken Miller (Paul Walter Hauser), and a U.S. postal inspector, Simon Kilmurry (Vince Vaughn), work together to determine the source of the counterfeit coupons after a sudden influx of invalid coupons.
— Queenpins Movie (@QueenpinsMovie) October 27, 2021
The true story of Queenpins is far more intricate than the film depicts since the couponing fraud was significantly more intricate than portrayed in the film.
The $40 million coupon fraud may seem like a work of fiction, but the genuine story of Queenpins is based on a serious crime. In 2012, officials in Arizona arrested three women in possession of millions of dollars worth of counterfeit vouchers.
— Paramount+ (@paramountplus) October 18, 2021
Illegal couponing may not appear substantial, yet it can cost businesses millions of dollars in lost revenue on a large scale. The film was inspired by the true story of Queenpins, however, it is not an exact retelling of the events.
How Was the Actual Coupon Scam Operated?
Ramirez began selling counterfeit coupons in 2007, according to Coupons in the News. Her scheme consisted of sending overseas coupons to be mass-produced and counterfeited. Similar to other true-crime films like Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Wolf of Wall Street, the true story of Queenpins is simplified for the sake of time, to the detriment of the couponing scam itself.
These coupons would be converted into unbelievable offers. For instance, a valid coupon for $1 off Pringles could be exchanged for $50 worth of free dog food. However, they never questioned their good fortune.
Johnson assisted with packaging and shipping orders, and Fountain occasionally added hologram stickers to the counterfeit coupons to make them appear more authentic.
In addition to the group’s website, SavvyShopperSite, the coupons were subsequently sold on eBay using multiple accounts. Access to this website required an invitation and included a warning against disclosing the locations where customers purchased coupons.
How Did the Queenpins Get Capture?
Forty companies, including major corporations such as Proctor & Gamble, Hershey, and PepsiCo, filed complaints of fraud, putting an end to the scheme. The FBI collaborated with local law enforcement to dismantle the organisation after discovering its origins in Phoenix.
What Were the Women’s Punishments?
The leader of the Arizona coupon ring, Robin Ramirez, along with her accomplices Marilyn Johnson and Amiko Fountain, was arrested in July 2012. They were accused of various offences, including counterfeiting, forgery, illegal enterprise operation, money laundering, and others. Photographs of the real women behind Queenpins are displayed below.
Leader Ramirez pled guilty to charges of fraud, counterfeiting, and illegal enterprise control. The charge of forgery was dismissed. Two years of imprisonment were followed by seven years of probation. She was the only one of the three to receive a jail sentence.
Her accomplices, Johnson and Fountain, pled guilty to a single count of counterfeiting. The court ordered all three women to compensate Procter & Gamble for its losses of $1,288,682. Unilever attempted to seek reimbursement from the women but was unsuccessful. Critics asserted that the punishment was insufficiently severe and would not deter future coupon forgers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Did the Actual Inquiry Last?
The Phoenix Police Department spent eight weeks investigating the three Arizona ladies that inspired the film, Queenpins. The department led the investigation with support from the FBI. -Yahoo Finance
Did Swat Attack the Homes of the Queenpins?
Yes. In July 2012, a SWAT team raided the houses of three ladies in Phoenix who were involved in a counterfeit coupon enterprise. This may sound preposterous and is played for laughs in the film. The following is what Bud Miller, former executive director of the Coupon Information Corporation (CIC), said to Jill Cataldo, a columnist for saving money: “A SWAT team established initial contact with a property by violently removing the front door.
From a mobile command unit, the CIC and a number of its members observed the bust.” Paul Walter Hauser’s portrayal of Ken Miller is thought to be loosely based on Bud Miller.