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CLIP-HAPPY `COUPON CONNIE' CALLS IT QUITS AFTER CONVICTION FOR FRAUD

Despite her federal fraud conviction, "Coupon Connie" says her coupon-clipping was just the zealous performance of a housewife's duty. But she'll never clip again.

"You should never use coupons," Connie Santos Arvidson said Tuesday after being convicted in a $2 million counterfeit coupon scheme. "I won't ever again."The Boca Raton, Fla., woman could be ordered imprisoned 15 years when she is sentenced March 23 for mail fraud and conspiracy.

She insisted during her three-week U.S. District Court trial that she didn't know the manufacturers' coupons she began buying and trading through a magazine advertisement were counterfeit.

Co-defendant David Rees of Center Point was convicted of conspiracy, and printer James Floyd Richards of San Antonio was cleared of three counts.

The defendants were accused of counterfeiting more than 600,000 copies of coupons issued by 47 companies, including Procter & Gamble, Nabisco Brands Inc. and Campbell Soup Co.

The counterfeit ring was indicted in August after a four-month investigation by the U.S. Postal Service.