‘Queenpins,’ the crime-comedy film inspired by a true story, charts the wild ride that two women, Connie Kaminiski and JoJo Johnson, undertake, where they plan to make bank through a counterfeit coupon scam. Connie, the mastermind behind the scheme, figures out a way to seize fake coupons and resell them for millions of dollars with the help of another couponer, JoJo. However, with the rapid rise of their illegal business, it’s only a matter of time before the duo appears on the authorities’ radar. As a result, they send out Ken Miller, an official from the Coupon Information Corporation, paired with Simon Kilmurry, a Postal Inspector, to bust the scammers.
Although the film harvests heavy inspiration from reality, specifically in terms of the premise and storyline, it also maintains a distance from the real-life individuals involved in the real-life counterfeit coupon controversy. Thus, viewers must be curious to learn of the current whereabouts of the actual individuals whose actions inspired the film.
Robin Ramirez Received a Two-Year Sentence
In July 2012, the police arrested Robin Ramirez, a 40-year-old Phoenix, Arizona resident. Labeled as the “ringleader” behind the infamous counterfeit coupon controversy, the woman faced her trial in 2013. Through their investigation, the Police, under Sgt. David Lake’s leadership concluded that Ramirez ran her illegal scheme by mass reproducing/counterfeiting coupons overseas. Afterward, she sold the coupons either on her eBay profile or her referral-based website, “SavvyShopperSite.”
Ramirez’s scam ended up costing businesses millions of dollars while it made her a world of profit, as proven by the luxury the police seized during their initial search. With 240 thousand dollars in vehicles and more in guns, speedboats, and other possessions, the police reported a total of 2 million dollars in assets outside of the 40 million dollars in counterfeit coupons. Thus, with considerable evidence against her, Ramirez’s conviction was almost inevitable.
In the end, the two other women arrested alongside Ramirez, Marilyn Johnson & Amiko Fountain, agreed to testify against the former in her trial. Consequently, Ramirez ended up pleading guilty to the charges of counterfeiting, fraud, and illegal enterprise control. However, authorities dropped charges of forgery against the woman.
Ultimately, May 2, 2013, brought Ramirez’s sentencing where the judge, Daniel Martin, gave her the maximum prison time sentencing reserved for counterfeiting charges: two years. Yet, Martin also allowed the woman’s pre-existing jail time to count toward her sentencing, leaving only a year and a few months for her to serve. Ramirez was also ordered to pay restitution fines of more than a million dollars to Proctor and Gamble.
Furthermore, Ramirez also received a supervised probation period of seven months post-prison release. Nevertheless, around 2021, her probation was extended to another five years after she fell behind on her restitution payments. Therefore, now the woman, presumably out of prison for a few years, lives her life away from the media’s attention. Still, her actions continue to haunt her through the expensive fine.
Marilyn Johnson Received Probation
According to her husband, Marilyn Johnson used to be a special education teacher. Furthermore, he asserted that the woman sported a clean track record against the law. However, she had retired for some time and was heading a dog breeding business out of her home with her husband before her involvement/collusion with Ramirez and her scheme. Her husband also claimed that Johnson was oblivious to the illegal nature of Ramirez’s business and believed that the latter procured the coupons from a non-profit organization.
It’s also believed that when Johnson began working for Ramirez as a part-time gig, she received payment in the form of Ramirez’s coupons free of charge. Nevertheless, after her arrest, at 54 years old, alongside Ramirez and Fountain, Marilyn Johnson faced similar charges of forgery, fraud, and counterfeiting. Ultimately, she pled guilty to counterfeiting charges in November and saw her other charges dropped.
As such, on her sentencing in May 2013 at a Phoenix courtroom, Johnson received a three-year probation without a prison sentence. It remains undecided whether or not her claims of receiving no viable payment for her collusion with Ramirez are true. Nonetheless, as with Ramirez, the court also ordered Johnson to pay a restitution fine of around 1.3 million dollars.
Currently, Johnson has likely returned to her quiet life, perhaps restarting her business with her husband. However, due to her decision to maintain a private life, no information is available about her other than her continued residence in Arizona.
Amiko “Amy” Fountain Received Probation
Similar to Johnson, Amiko Fountain, often referred to by her nickname Amy, also worked for Ramirez as a part-time job. Likewise, she also made similar claims of never receiving financial gain from the large profit that Ramirez made off her business. Furthermore, her family backed Fountain up by establishing her as an “honest person” who was uninformed of Ramirez’s business’ reality when she participated in the same.
Thus, Fountain and Johnson followed a similar pattern in their convictions, with the former pleading guilty in November. As a result, her charges for fraud and forgery were dropped, and she received a three-year probation on the charges of counterfeiting alongside the hefty 1.3 million restitution fine.
Although Fountain is also believed to have returned to her residence in Arizona, her private life makes no further information available to viewers. Since the woman worked as a licensed chiropractor prior to her involvement with Ramirez, it is possible that she has returned to the same career. However, given the complications that accompany gaining a felony conviction, the woman likely faces some challenges.
Moreover, even though “Queenpins’ uses Fountain’s, alongside Johnson and Ramirez’s experiences, as inspiration for its cinematic tale, none of the women are allowed to receive a profit from the sale of their life stories. Since the film never modeled characters after these women specifically and steered clear of their involvement, Fountain, Johnson, and Ramirez continue to remain detached from the same.