Pasco County Sheriff's Office investigating coupon fraud

Sellers claiming sales benefit wounded veterans

HUDSON, Fla. - Kim Parkyn and her crew serve Bagels Galore at their restaurant in on State Road 52 in Hudson.

"We've been here 9 years, selling bagels all this time," said Parkyn.

They've put out coupons of their own in the past. But authorities say they are part of a coupon book full of forgeries.

"There were up to 59 coupons where it looks like someone might have gone to a website and copied the art on those websites and printed them in a booklet to sell," said Pasco Sheriff's Office spokesperson Kevin Doll.

And to make it worse those selling the coupon book are telling customers the $20 cost benefits Wounded Veterans.

That is a legitimate organization, but they say they've got nothing to do with the bogus books.

"It should be a good cause and not people scamming to make people buy the things," said Parkyn.

The Pasco Sheriff's Office started investigating after ABC Action News stepped in to help Diane DeGeorge.

She called us after buying the coupons, then realizing they were fakes when she tried to use one.

The Hudson Tire Center on US 19 is also included in the fraudulent coupon book. But the owner says he might actually redeem those coupons.

When Jeff Woodruff got a look at the coupon for his store, he recognized the design. He says it was a legitimate ad they put out a couple of years ago. He believes someone may have copied it.

"That's ripping off the merchants, ripping off the people that spent the $20 to buy the coupon book, but even worse than that is ripping off the wounded vets," said Woodruff.

Degeorge told investigators she bought the coupons from a blond woman last week who came to her home in Bayonet Point.

That woman is described as being in her 20's, 5'3'', 110 lbs with blond hair. She also have a tattoo of a rose on her right forearm.

Investigators also say a man was seen selling door-to-door across the street.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Christopher Meizo at 1-800-854-2862.

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