Fortune Teller Admits Stealing Millions From Clients For Lifting Curses

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Whether or not you believe in dark curses or not, you shouldn’t be paying someone your hard-earned cash to lift them. The Department of Justice says the former owner of a fortune teller business in Virginia pled guilty in federal court to committing mail fraud and laundering more than $1 million she stole from her victims, after telling them she was clairvoyant and could see into the past and the future.

According to evidence presented by Assistant United States Attorney Ronald M. Huber, Sandra Marks, and her husband, Donnie Marks, operated a business called “Readings by Catherine” which offered services like palm readings, candle readings, tarot card readings, astrological readings and spiritual readings to clients, the DOJ said in a press release today.

“A fortune teller cons clients out of more than one million dollars, then launders the proceeds and commits mail fraud. This sounds like the plotline for a Hollywood movie. Unfortunately, for Ms. Marks’ victims, this was reality,” said Clark E. Settles, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations Washington, D.C.

She admitted through a statement of facts submitted to the court that she signed that she enriched herself by telling clients she could see where they’d been and where they’d been going, that she had a “gift from God” and was able to communicate with spirits from God, like the “Prince of Illusion” who told her things about her clients.

Marks said she’d tell folks she’d learn through her spirit friends that the person or their family was suffering from a “curse” or a “dark cloud” and the only thing to lift it would be a sacrifice of large amounts of money and valuables. She’d bury the items and cash in a box to be “cleansed,” promising to return them once the job was done. She told clients that the money and property wouldn’t be used for her own benefit.

Despite those promises, she kept the money and other stuff for her own personal use and enjoyment, as well as that of her husband. When the money ran dry, she’d find other clients to keep the scheme going or ask for more money to keep the “work” going.

She’s now facing a maximum of 20 years in federal prison on both the mail fraud count and money laundering count, and will have to provide relief to victims in the form of $1.2 million in restitution.

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