The next time someone tells you that you will die and be reborn so you can reunite with your late child and marry Brad Pitt, don’t do it, and don’t pay a psychic millions for telling that fortune. A Florida psychic convicted of defrauding clients of her family fortune-telling business is heading to jail after bilking people out of at least $17.8 million in various schemes.
According to The Sun-Sentinel, the sentencing capped off a bizarre monthlong trial featuring big name witnesses, including best-selling romance writer Jude Deveraux, who the psychic and her family members had ripped off to the tune of at least $12 million. The author had already gotten rid of years of financial documents by the time authorities came calling.
Victims testified during the trial that the fortune-telling family of women had preyed on people’s spiritual and religious beliefs, convincing them they could keep the eye of the Internal Revenue Service away with their powers or even bring loved ones back from the dead.
While it’s legal to tell fortunes and charge money for it, prosecutors claimed the defendants defrauded victims when they promised they’d eventually return most of their money, when they didn’t ever intend to do so. Or they’d ask for jewelry so they could pray and charm the possessions to get psychic results.
Deveraux testified along with others and her situation sounds particularly — how shall I put this lightly? — dubious: She says the woman used the grief she had for her 8-year-old son, who died in 2005, to get at her cash.
According to the author, the psychic said a virgin who looked like Princess Grace of Monaco had used a leftover embryo to have a child that was the full-blood brother of Deveraux’s deceased son. The psychic then predicted the author would die, assume that woman’s body and be married to Brad Pitt, as well as reuniting with her son. No word on how she’d handle Angelina Jolie.
While prosecutors pushed for a tougher sentence, the judge said he didn’t think the fraud was sophisticated, and wondered how clients could possibly believe the “outlandish” nature of the tales spun by the family.
“I’m certainly not a psychologist and I can’t try to figure out why any rational human being would have believed any of the representations being made,” he said. “These people, for whatever reason, wanted to believe these crazy stories that were being told to them.”
The psychic has been in jail since September, when she was convicted on 14 charges. She’ll likely spend about 6.5 years in jail after time off for good behavior and time served.
“At the time, I didn’t realize what I was doing was wrong,” she said when asking the judge for mercy. “Now, I realize that I caused a lot of hurt and disappointment.”
‘Psychic’ who fleeced millions from clients sentenced to 10 years in prison [The Sun-Sentinel]