Fraudulent Mediums/Psychics

Mighty_Emperor

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#1
Psychic bilked client out of $100G

Saturday, January 01, 2005
By KEVIN SHEA
Staff Writer

She promotes herself as Yanna, a spiritual reader and adviser who is gifted with "the inner vision" to help others. And she practices her craft from a choice, second-floor residence and storefront overlooking Nassau Street in downtown Princeton Borough.

But for the second time since 2002, Yanna, whose real name is Christine Evans, is accused of stealing huge sums of money from a client, this time more than $100,000 from a Buckingham, Pa., woman.

Late last month, Evans, 35, was in Bucks County District Court for a preliminary hearing on the case, stemming from her late-October arrest after a number of visits to her client's home. Her lawyer waived the hearing and the case was moved to the Court of Common Pleas in Doylestown.


In May 2002, Princeton Borough police charged Evans with stealing $183,000 from a mentally ill Plainsboro woman who Evans had allegedly convinced was possessed by an evil spirit in the form of a black man from the 1800s.

The money Evans allegedly took was a "sacrifice" for a "cleansing." But police decided the cleansing occurred in the victim's bank account and arrested and charged Evans with felony theft by deception.

Evans came to a private settlement with the Plainsboro victim, the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office said recently, and the case was dropped at the victim's request.

This time, however, the Bucks County District Attorney's Office had a card up its sleeve: Evans is not only charged with theft by deception but with fortunetelling, a criminal charge in Pennsylvania that Mercer authorities were without in 2002.

Assistant District Attorney Joe Visco said the charge is not one that is applied often, but it has been successfully prosecuted in the past. The District Attorney's Office last year convicted a Buckingham woman, who went by the name Bianca, of the crime for charging a woman more than $40,000 to reduce the "negativity" in her life, press accounts say. The woman was sentenced to probation.

-- -- --

Visco could not elaborate on Evans' case, since Evans' lawyer waived reading of the charges in open court. In October, however, Bucks County District Attorney Diane Gibbons was clear about Evans' motivations.

"Greed," she told local newspapers. "She is a con artist, and she preys on people whose lives are in turmoil."

Evans did not want to talk after leaving District Justice Robert Schnell's courtroom in December, except for growling at a reporter because a news photographer was waiting outside the room. "This is very rude," Evans said before pulling her long, black dress coat over her head of long, dirty-blond hair.

Evans camped out in a conference room, then dashed to her car with the assistance of court employees, who allowed her to sneak through their office and out the rear of the building.

The case against Evans, her lawyer Joseph Malley said, "is going to get resolved. I have no doubt about it." He declined to elaborate.

Evans' alleged victim was in the courtroom with a friend and declined to discuss the allegations. "I just want her convicted," the alleged victim said. "She is a predator," the friend said of Evans as they chatted with Visco.

Evans, 35, was arrested in late October after allegedly accepting a $71,000 check from the woman.

Court documents and police said Evans met the woman in late 2003, at a "psychic party." The alleged victim went to Princeton to meet Evans, and Evans allegedly visited the woman's home to remove evil spirits.

The money Evans charged kept mounting, and in October another adviser got involved, the alleged victim's financial adviser who noticed more than $100,000 missing from the woman's accounts, authorities said.

Buckingham police and Bucks County detectives began investigating. After Evans allegedly accepted a check for $71,000 from the woman for gold coins she told the woman she would need to ward off the spirits, police pulled her over in Buckingham.

As officers approached, Evans allegedly put the check in her mouth and chewed it before discarding it under her seat. Police recovered the check.

Evans was initially jailed but is free on bond - set initially at $250,000 - pending trial.

-- -- --

Evans has been convicted of psychic-related activity before. In Maricopa County, Ariz., in 1999, she pleaded guilty to theft by misrepresentation for selling a client $6,000 in gold coins for "remedies." Evans traveled to Arizona for court and was sentenced to probation.

Gibbons said in early November that victims of such exorbitant fortunetelling, or other such psychic readings, should not be embarrassed and should report it so authorities can fight it.

"These people prey on people who are vulnerable, and we can't let them get away with it," Gibbons told The Intelligencer newspaper in Bucks County.

Stockton resident Jennifer Shepherd agrees. She was so miffed by Evans' previous arrest in 2002 and the headlines it generated, she wrote to The Times to argue on behalf of "real" psychics.

Shepherd, who writes astrology columns for Bucks County and Philadelphia publications and online, where she is known as the Lipstick Mystick, said there are easy ways to know you are working with a reputable psychic. And she's adamant about getting out such a message.

First, the costs should not dramatically escalate. "You should never pay more for a session than you would for a therapist or any professional like an attorney," Shepherd said.

And beware of psychics who immediately bring on the gloom and doom, she said.

On the first visit, "They'll throw down a few tarot cards and then say your aura is black," Shepherd said.

It's followed up by this pitch: "Lucky for you, I can help." Or, "There's a negativity in your aura, and I'm the only one who can help you.

"There's always some hook into something that is horribly expensive for you," Shepherd said. "It's all about the promotion of fear."

Shepherd was a psychic in Princeton for about 10 years before taking a break from the business in 1999 to be a freelance writer in the field. Recently she returned to readings as an aside to her astrology writing. She said someone seeking a psychic should get a referral from someone they trust.

Evans also said people in the holistic business, from acupuncturists to massage therapists to herbalists, often can vouch for a trusted psychic.

"In my experience, real psychics are more like spiritual counselors who are focused on healing, empowerment and success coaching," Shepherd said.
Source
 

stu neville

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#2
Perhaps it should be noted that this thread is dedicated to mediums and psychics that are proven to be fraudulent, thus avoiding the inevitable post saying "But they're all fake". and the precipitated discussion about the nature of belief in a Fortean context dragging everyone way off thread (we've been there before, more than once).
 
A

Anonymous

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#4
This reminds me of John Edwards and Sylvia Browne. Both refuse to claim Randi's million dollars by proving they are truly gifted. Something about John Edwards really throws me off. He is a cold reader and he's mostly full of shite. As for Sylvia Browne, I know she has fans, but I saw her live once at a live taping of Montel Williams and she was full of nonsensical crap and everyone ate it up.
I pity the people who think these two liars can help them.

Just my opinion.

WW
 
A

Anonymous

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#5
I did henna art once at a psychic faire and my little booth was right behind a couple of ladies, Mother and daughter, who told almost everyone who sat down with them the exact same line of BS. You are bothered by something, you are facing changes, you need to seek ongoing guidence, (guess who they thought these people needed ongoing guidence from? For an ongoing price, of course), there is a dark influence on your life that needs to be removed, etc... Some poor souls were so desperate for someone to give them some hope that they were crying with these phonies, ready to believe some good news even if it cost them some cash. Sad, so sad.
 
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#6
More psychic scam artists:

Local ‘psychic’ back in jail

Linda Marks allegedly scammed Boynton Beach woman out of $38,000

Published Saturday, April 23, 2005 1:00 am
by By Sean Salai

Self-proclaimed South Florida ‘psychic’ Linda Marks is back in jail this weekend after scamming a Boynton Beach woman out of $38,000 that she offered to “cleanse of its evil spirits.”

Boynton police said Friday they arrested the nomadic huckster, who had been serving a five-year probation for a 2002 insurance scam, for “repeat offenses” in the presence of her probation officer Thursday in Delray Beach.

“Linda Marks claims to be a psychic,” said Det. Toby Athol, who handcuffed Marks. “If that’s true, she can’t be a very good one, because she had no idea I was coming to get her.”

Athol said he obtained probable cause to arrest Marks when the elderly Boynton victim, whom police would not identify, came forward last week to file a police report.

The elderly woman found Marks through an ad in a supermarket PennySaver last summer, police said.

Marks allegedly read the woman’s fortune, telling her she was “wealthy and evil in another life, and all her money was blood money.” Marks then demanded that the woman pay her large sums of money, promising to return the cash once it had been cleansed.

The elderly woman complied. From July to October 2004, she gave Marks $38,000 because she believed she had been cursed in the earlier life.

“Then, Marks said her daughter had a terminal disease,” said Det. Athol. “So the woman mortgages her house to give Marks the last $14,000 because she’s afraid her daughter is going to die.”

After six months, the woman began phoning Marks every day to ask for her money back. Marks refused.

Athol described Marks as “a gypsy, drifting from place to place,” who owes $10,000 in rent to a property manager in Boynton. The two parties are in litigation.

Marks most recently lived at 22492 Swordfish Drive in Boca Winds, a middle-class suburb off Palmetto Park Road west of Boca Raton, but police were unsure when she moved in.

Several homeowners on Marks’s street, interviewed Friday, said they knew only that Marks was a renter who had moved in within the last three months.

“I had no idea she was arrested,” said Martin E. Perez, a realtor who lives two doors down. “She hasn’t been here very long.”

“You never really know who is next door,” said Maria Weaver, who lives across the street from Marks with her husband Les.

At the time of Marks’s 2002 conviction, she and her husband James were living in Delray and operating a business there called “The Psychic Shop” at 904 Federal Highway.

Although Marks was accused of several scams, including that she took $300,000 from a dying man, she was arrested and convicted only on charges of insurance fraud.

More than a dozen Palm Beach and Broward County residents later sued Marks, claiming she swindled them out of individual sums between $2,000 to $1.1 million in exchange for her “spiritual cleansings.” That lawsuit, like the others against Marks, is still pending in court.

“She’s a psychopath with no conscience,” said Barry Silver, the victims’ lawyer. “She’s totally willing to destroy people’s lives and take every last cent. I’ve got a woman client who had $1,000 to her name and Linda Marks took it.”

Silver’s clients are also suing the Delray police department for ignoring their complaints about the so-called “gypsy crimes.”

Det. Athol said the scam is common in South Florida “Be careful about psychics,” he warned. “If they’re real psychics, they shouldn’t have to put an ad in the PennySaver, because they know where you live lately.”

He added, “At least check with one other person about psychics, because they always say ‘it’s a secret’ and the curse won’t work if it’s let out. Especially when money’s involved.”

This weekend, Marks is being held without bond until a Monday hearing. She faces two felony charges, scheme to defraud the elderly and grand theft, charges that violate her probation for the insurance fraud.

If local residents have further information about Marks, or were victimized while she was living in Boynton, they are urged to contact Det. Athol of the Boynton police at 561-742-6152.
Source
 

Mighty_Emperor

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#7
One wonders if the gullibility that leads one to believe in psychics also leaves you open to scamming:

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Bizarre scam hits town

Denise Ellen Rizzo
Tracy Press

Published on Thursday, June 30, 2005, in the Tracy Press.

The psychic world could spell trouble for unsuspecting believers in Tracy.

Innocent-looking envelopes with foreign postage from psychic Madeline De Lafitte have been arriving in mailboxes. Inside, a letter claims that the recipient is psychically connected to a celebrity and will reap financial and personal rewards in the near future.

After a promise of good fortune, the letter eventually gets down to the nitty-gritty — De Lafitte wants $25. The letter also asks for sensitive information such as credit card numbers, birth date, place of birth and e-mail address.

Police say it’s a new letter scam for cheating people out of their cash.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Detective Alex Neicu said. “It’s not very common — it could be the cutting-edge, or it had success in other parts of the world.”

Neicu said for every 1,000 letters sent out, 100 replies would result in a profit for those running the scam.

“They’re playing the percentages,” he said.

According to police, the De Lafitte letters are full of red flags, such as an overseas address, request for personal information and demand for money. Those usually mean trouble for those who decide to take the letter seriously.

Some people might send in the money because it’s a small amount, or they might do it just for laughs.

Others, like people who frequent psychic telephone hotlines, might take it seriously, Neicu said.

Neicu warned that scams are everywhere and can come from sources from the U.S. Postal Service to the Internet. The themes vary, but the bottom line is always the same — send money.

“Greed will always be a factor,” Neicu said. “People need to use their common sense.”

Among the most popular scams are those that float around the Internet, he said.

Scam artists now approach sellers on popular auction sites like as eBay and offer to “guarantee” the purchase of their wares with a check for more than the selling price. The seller is then told to wire the difference to a bank account, typically overseas.

Neicu said it takes days for the victim to realize the check is no good, and by then it’s too late to get their money back.

“I’ve had friends get e-mails based on their listings on eBay,” he said.

Although scams lure people in every day, police said they often can’t recognize the latest trends until it’s too late.

“It’s hard to track them,” Neicu said. “It’s pretty creative and they plan ahead. If you question its authenticity, call me.”
www.tracypress.com/local/2005-06-30-scams.html
 
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#8
Fake psychic in evil spirit scam

Fake psychic in evil spirit scam

Fraudsters claiming to be clairvoyant and willing to protect people from evil for just £17 are targeting residents in a letter-writing scam.
Police say they have received calls from worried residents across the Thames Valley who have been targeted.

The letters, which are personally addressed to the recipient, claim there is an evil presence which they can be protected from if they send the money.

Thames Valley Police are urging residents to throw the letters away.

Lynne Brooks, who works at Thames Valley Police's Kidlington inquiry centre, said: "There are a number of scams in operation around the country but this one seems more upsetting than most as it uses scare tactics to pressure the recipients into sending a small amount of money.

"Our concern is that as it is a small amount, people may just send it to put their minds at rest."

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/e ... 424320.stm

Published: 2005/11/10 10:00:07 GMT

© BBC MMV
 

gerardwilkie

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#9
Obviously it is a scam aimed at the gullible , but just supposing it did turn out to be true , and the psychic could prove their case in a court of law . That would be interesting , but it'll never happen. ;)
 

TheQuixote

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#10
Palmist denies deception charges

A Staffordshire palm reader who claimed he could reunite a woman with her ex-boyfriend using paranormal phenomena has denied deception charges. Naseem Mohammed, 42, denies falsely claiming he could restore the relationship between Jasuir Mahill and her lover using voodoo dolls.

Chester Magistrates Court heard the palmist allegedly obtained £8,000 from Ms Mahill, from Hanley,Stoke-on-Trent.

He pleaded not guilty to seven charges of deception.

He also denied a further charge under the Trades Descriptions Act of recklessly making a false statement claiming he was "able to perform paranormal phenomena guaranteeing to restore the physical relationship between her and her ex-boyfriend".

Mr Mohammed, of Bridge Street Row, Chester, was bailed to appear before the same court on 13 March when the case is due to be committed to crown court for trial.

Speaking outside court, his solicitor, Shahid Ali, said his client "vehemently denied" the charges.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/e ... 662010.stm
Published: 2006/01/30 12:52:03 GMT

© BBC MMVI
 

escargot

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#11
I know of a psychic who seems to have been tricked into saying, in a newspaper article, that she didn't actually believe in contacting the dead, and has lost all her customers! :lol:
 

Niall114

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#12
Palmist denies deception charges

Palmist denies deception charges
A Staffordshire palm reader who claimed he could reunite a woman with her ex-boyfriend using paranormal phenomena has denied deception charges.
Naseem Mohammed, 42, denies falsely claiming he could restore the relationship between Jasuir Mahill and her lover using voodoo dolls.

Chester Magistrates Court heard the palmist allegedly obtained £8,000 from Ms Mahill, from Hanley,Stoke-on-Trent.

He pleaded not guilty to seven charges of deception.

He also denied a further charge under the Trades Descriptions Act of recklessly making a false statement claiming he was "able to perform paranormal phenomena guaranteeing to restore the physical relationship between her and her ex-boyfriend".

Mr Mohammed, of Bridge Street Row, Chester, was bailed to appear before the same court on 13 March when the case is due to be committed to crown court for trial.

Speaking outside court, his solicitor, Shahid Ali, said his client "vehemently denied" the charges.
 
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#13
Palmist denies deception charges

Palmist denies deception charges

A Staffordshire palm reader who claimed he could reunite a woman with her ex-boyfriend using paranormal phenomena has denied deception charges. Naseem Mohammed, 42, denies falsely claiming he could restore the relationship between Jasuir Mahill and her lover using voodoo dolls.

Chester Magistrates Court heard the palmist allegedly obtained £8,000 from Ms Mahill, from Hanley,Stoke-on-Trent.

He pleaded not guilty to seven charges of deception.

He also denied a further charge under the Trades Descriptions Act of recklessly making a false statement claiming he was "able to perform paranormal phenomena guaranteeing to restore the physical relationship between her and her ex-boyfriend".

Mr Mohammed, of Bridge Street Row, Chester, was bailed to appear before the same court on 13 March when the case is due to be committed to crown court for trial.

Speaking outside court, his solicitor, Shahid Ali, said his client "vehemently denied" the charges.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/e ... 662010.stm

Published: 2006/01/30 12:52:03 GMT

© BBC MMVI
 

waitew

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#15
I think these presecutions are much more dangerous than anything these fake psychics did! I think it's a 'freedom of religion' issue.How long until it'll be illegal to 'pass the plate' at church?or teach the book of genesis because it's contrary to the offical state doctrain of Evoultion?Scumbag, fake psychic thieves are just the 'cost of doing business' in a free country.
 

tastyintestines

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#16
For some reason I'm against people who lie,cheat, and steal. If you can prove that churches are conning people, all the power to ya.
 

morningstar667

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#17
For what it's worth, I used to work in a zoo, and one day Micheal Aspel turns up with Graham Starkey the "psychic" and a horde of technicians, doing a thing about animals.
The psychic then proceeds to state on camera that a somewhat aggressive leopard was upset because (drum roll) his mate was killed as they had both been in a circus and she was unmanagable and was put down. In a breathless tone, with much bad acting.
A slight problem there as the leopard had been born at another zoo, had spent his adult life being looked after by me, and was merely annoyed by all the cameras and fuss. My comments didn't make it into the prog....
 

tastyintestines

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#18
"Psychic" admits bilking elderly clients

Fri Feb 17, 10:04 AM ET

MIAMI (Reuters) - A self-proclaimed psychic and fortuneteller pleaded guilty Thursday to bilking elderly clients in south Florida out of more than $2 million over an eight-year period, federal officials said.
ADVERTISEMENT

Linda Marks, 57, of Delray Beach, was accused of preying on the elderly and people suffering from incurable diseases, telling them she could cure them by praying over their money.

Marks pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to fraud and corruption charges and admitted cheating her elderly victims out of more than $2 million between 1994 and 2002, U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta said in a statement.

A Delray Police detective, Jack Makler, 64, pleaded guilty to corruption charges for using his position on the police force to help keep Marks out of jail and avoid violating probation, Acosta said.

Makler admitted taking money and other property from Marks at a time when he was investigating her and acknowledged lying to local and federal authorities about his handling of her cases, Acosta said.

Marks faces up to 15 years in prison while Makler faces up to five years. Sentencing is scheduled for May 10.

"The illegal conduct in this case was particularly egregious because the defendant's actions resulted in the continued victimization of elderly and vulnerable people, many of whom lost their life savings through fraud," Acosta said in the statement.

"We will not tolerate the conduct of those law enforcement officers who, through their illegal actions, bring disrespect to their colleagues, sell their position and betray the public trust," he added.

link
 
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#19
Clairvoyant conman foresees jail

Clairvoyant conman foresees jail

A clairvoyant has been jailed for conning money from a widow by saying he had contacted her dead husband. Paul Williams, of Stourbridge, West Midlands, told Joyce Sutton her husband appeared in a vision to say his will was in a grandfather clock.

The forged document stated half the estate should go to Williams, who admitted forgery, deception and theft.

Jailing him for 18 months, Recorder Peter Cooke said: "I am sure you have foreseen that you are going to prison."

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard Williams met Mrs Sutton, from Dudley, in the Black Country, when she invited him to her home to exorcise the ghost of her husband Charles' s first wife.


You have become a charlatan, a conman
Recorder Peter Cooke

But after her husband's death in December 2005, Williams collected Mrs Sutton from the hospital and then stole her cheque book.

He later told her he had been in contact with Charles with instructions about his estate.

Andrew Wallace, prosecuting, said: "He had been in contact with her husband from beyond the grave and told to look in the back of the grandfather clock.

"Of course it was a load of baloney. He knew it was there. It was more a case of deja vu."

The fake will stated that the £13,000 estate should be shared equally between Mrs Sutton and Williams.

Conned blind pensioner

A few months later Mrs Sutton discovered thousands of pounds were missing from her account, from which the cheque books had been taken.

The court was told that in 2003 Williams persuaded a second victim, Gerry Rowley, an 82-year-old blind pensioner, to let him become a signatory on his bank account.


They were bereaved, elderly or blind
Recorder Peter Cooke

He held on to his passbook and took thousands of pounds.

Williams admitted one count of forgery, one of theft and five counts of obtaining by deception between 2003 and 2006.

Adam Western, defending, said Williams became depressed after having to retire from work and the loss of status and lifestyle led to an expensive drug habit and cheating on his wife.

Mr Cooke said: "You have become a charlatan, a conman and someone who piratically preys on elderly people who were vulnerable.

"They were bereaved, elderly or blind.

"I am sure you have foreseen that you are going to go to prison and you do not need to be a clairvoyant, when you have done what you have, to see that."

The total amount taken by Williams from his two victims amounted to around £13,000. None of the cash has been repaid.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/e ... 903338.stm

Published: 2006/04/12 13:42:48 GMT

© BBC MMVI
 

Rrose_Selavy

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#20
Clairvoyant conman foresees jail

A clairvoyant has been jailed for conning money from a widow by saying he had contacted her dead husband.
Paul Williams, of Stourbridge, West Midlands, told Joyce Sutton her husband appeared in a vision to say his will was in a grandfather clock.

The forged document stated half the estate should go to Williams, who admitted forgery, deception and theft.

Jailing him for 18 months, Recorder Peter Cooke said: "I am sure you have foreseen that you are going to prison."

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard Williams met Mrs Sutton, from Dudley, in the Black Country, when she invited him to her home to exorcise the ghost of her husband Charles' s first wife.


You have become a charlatan, a conman
Recorder Peter Cooke

But after her husband's death in December 2005, Williams collected Mrs Sutton from the hospital and then stole her cheque book.

He later told her he had been in contact with Charles with instructions about his estate.

Andrew Wallace, prosecuting, said: "He had been in contact with her husband from beyond the grave and told to look in the back of the grandfather clock.

"Of course it was a load of baloney. He knew it was there. It was more a case of deja vu."

The fake will stated that the £13,000 estate should be shared equally between Mrs Sutton and Williams.

Conned blind pensioner

A few months later Mrs Sutton discovered thousands of pounds were missing from her account, from which the cheque books had been taken.

The court was told that in 2003 Williams persuaded a second victim, Gerry Rowley, an 82-year-old blind pensioner, to let him become a signatory on his bank account.


They were bereaved, elderly or blind
Recorder Peter Cooke

He held on to his passbook and took thousands of pounds.

Williams admitted one count of forgery, one of theft and five counts of obtaining by deception between 2003 and 2006.

Adam Western, defending, said Williams became depressed after having to retire from work and the loss of status and lifestyle led to an expensive drug habit and cheating on his wife.

Mr Cooke said: "You have become a charlatan, a conman and someone who piratically preys on elderly people who were vulnerable.

"They were bereaved, elderly or blind.

"I am sure you have foreseen that you are going to go to prison and you do not need to be a clairvoyant, when you have done what you have, to see that."

The total amount taken by Williams from his two victims amounted to around £13,000. None of the cash has been repaid.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/e ... 903338.stm

Published: 2006/04/12 13:42:48 GMT

© BBC MMVI
 
A

Anonymous

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#21
As I continue to maintain...I have never seen, heard or read about any psychic that even remotely convinces me that they are not either well meaning but deluded or just conmen/women. Although I am happy to look at experiments, and indeed, am interested in mind phenomena, I suspect that if there is/are any psychic abilities in humans they are remarkably weak in effect.
 

Graylien

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#22
Psychic avoids prison for scam
Friday, July 28, 2006

State District Judge Reginald Badeaux looked into a fortuneteller's future Wednesday, and he saw a small room behind barred doors if she ever breaks the law again.

Lecia Urich, a Kenner palm reader and self-proclaimed psychic who often goes by the name "Sister Jackson," received a suspended sentence Wednesday for trying to scam a Slidell businesswoman out of $5,000 in July 2004. Urich, who had pleaded guilty in the 22nd Judicial District Court in Covington earlier Wednesday to attempted theft of more than $500, had told the woman that a ritual that involved burying the money would help lift a deadly curse.

Badeaux gave her a suspended sentence of one year in prison and placed her on supervised probation for a year. The judge also fined Urich $250 plus court costs and warned her to refrain from fraudulent activity.

The victim, now 58, said the sentence wasn't enough. "I'm very disappointed in the state of Louisiana and their laws," said the Slidell resident, who asked not to be identified. "But I'm glad she pleaded guilty, because she was."

Urich, who operated a parlor at 3120 Williams Blvd., was arrested at her Georgia Avenue home on July 13, 2004. Several other theft charges followed after other victims came forward to describe similar schemes, including an 87-year-old Kenner woman who said Urich swindled her out of $37,000.

Kenner police said Urich told four customers that their enemies had put curses on them and offered to dispel the hexes for a total of $7,100, which she said she would bury in a church or cemetery.

In one of those cases, she allegedly told a man in January 2004 he would lose his job, wife and family unless he gave her his $3,500 savings.

In February 2004 a West Jefferson woman who was depressed about her divorce visited the parlor. Urich persuaded her to hand over $700 so she could take it home and pray over it. Several days later, when the woman asked for the money back, Urich allegedly said more time was needed to lift the curse.

Jefferson Parish court records show Urich pleaded guilty March 8 to two counts of theft of more than $300; one count was dismissed. She was given a suspended sentence of two years in prison and put on probation for two years.

The Slidell businesswoman sat for a psychic reading by Urich at the Lacombe Crab Festival on July 5, 2004. Urich told the woman that a curse doomed her to a horrible death and asked her to call back the next day for a remedy, police said.

The next day Urich offered to perform the $5,000 ceremony. But the businesswoman called Slidell police, who installed hidden cameras and microphones in the psychic's parlor for a sting operation.

Detectives gave the informant $5,000 in marked bills, and Urich arrived with a candle, a bag of dirt and a banana. She rubbed the fruit over the woman's body in an apparent attempt to check for a wire, police said.

Urich put the banana in the bag of dirt with the money, saying she would bury it later, police said. But when a detective called the informant and asked her to stall, Urich got suspicious, according to police.

Urich gave the money back and left. Detectives took down her vehicle's license plate number and obtained a warrant for her arrest.

Two years later the Slidell woman said she is still angry about the attempted con. "There are a lot of vulnerable people in the world," she said, "and people like her take advantage of people like me."

source
 
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Anonymous

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#23
I've just had to help de-programme a friend's daughter who had been suckered into a psychic's nascent cult idea. I didn't enjoy providing a different perspective (somewhat intellectually forced) upon her...but something had to be done to break the bastard's hold (what was worse; I don't believe I am qualified in this area at all, so a lot had to be done on ad hoc bullshit and minor research - I still feel somewhat bothered...however, my reasoning seems to have taken hold....so, a kind of hurrah then :? ) . As a goodish fortean I am happy that people have whatever belief pattern they wish...I only ask that the person can critically analyse (just a little bit) their chosen path.

Gah.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#24
The other day I was asked, in the pub, to analyse a friend of a friend's dream. I don't do this type of thing professionally (well, if ya really want to pay..okay) - anyhoo, I did it because he was worried and been fed a load of psychoanalytical bull by someone else. The dream was obviously anxiety based and v.easy to decode. Chap was happy immediately and I got a drink out of it. So, score one for the duck.

Anyway, while he was enthusing about my 'brilliant' ability, I was asked what I thought about palmistry. I told 'em it was a con, and would read their hands. However, we were all a bit a drunk. Cut the story short; by the end of the readings (say half an hour) I had three people telling me (after I had told them what I was doing, no less) that I was fantastic and totally spot on. I protested, but they wouldn't hear it - okay, I got three more drinks out this and shut up.

Good people skills, a bit of psych and some bullshit+confidence. I am a total amateur at this...just think what somebody does with a bit of practice and the ambition to make a career. :cry:

Yes: I know I took the drinks :twisted:
 

Peripart

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#27
Fine. Let's split the difference, and you can send the cheque for £3.95 to 221B Baker Street, Fictional Victorian London.
 

stu neville

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#29
GadaffiDuck said:
I've just had to help de-programme a friend's daughter who had been suckered into a psychic's nascent cult idea. I didn't enjoy providing a different perspective (somewhat intellectually forced) upon her...but something had to be done to break the bastard's hold (what was worse; I don't believe I am qualified in this area at all, so a lot had to be done on ad hoc bullshit and minor research - I still feel somewhat bothered...however, my reasoning seems to have taken hold....so, a kind of hurrah then :? ) .
Oh really?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#30
Yeah. It wasn't very nice. I've kept an eye on this for a while now. I suspect, but cannot prove, that the 'psychic' is supplying drugs or booze to young impressionable people - Hmmm, yeah, getting high masqueradig as magic (great :evil: ). For my friend's daughter, the de-programming consisted of, I suppose, a very gentle form of socratic irony and then re-building self-esteem. I also needed to convince her that if there were any other problems (ie this guy getting silly) then I would deal with it as first line of defence and then go to the police on her behalf.

The thing was, she hadn't gone all 'Mooney' eyed, but from someone who was studying maths and chemistry to get all mystical and reliant upon this utter creep, was a real shock. As said, I don't 'do' this type of psychology - but my friend asked me, to keep it 'within the family' as it were.

edit: to my knowledge this chap has got a local following of about 20 or so people.

I suppose what happened above could be a dangerous form of school girl crush, but the whole psychic/magician angle really was quite horrid
 
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