A Florida woman has been ordered to repay $1.6 million to a Texas woman that she convinced that her family was cursed in a “fortune-telling” scam.
The Florida woman was sentenced last week to more than three years in prison and ordered to repay $1.6 million after creating a “fortune-telling” scheme in which she convinced a Texas woman that a curse had been placed on her and her family, USA Today reported.
The women met in Houston in 2007 and the defendant claimed to be "a psychic/fortune teller." She told the woman that if the curse was not lifted, it could cause harm to her family.
"The defendant claimed she needed large sums of money to purchase items, such as crystals, candles and the like, which were needed for meditation work in order to lift the curse," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.
The victim paid the defendant with money from an inheritance from her father's death, loans and funds she earned from stripping, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The relationship continued for years, and the victim continued sending money to the defendant even after she moved to South Florida. It finally came to an end in early 2014, when the “psychic” admitted that there was no curse.
Authorities were made aware of the case by a private investigator who specializes in fraud by psychics, the Houston Chronicle reported.
The defendant previously pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. Court records show that she was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
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This story has been written and syndicated across GateHouse Media Group's 22 Florida markets.