Frauds are often perpetrated by people holding themselves out to be spiritualists and psychics. Spiritualism has been defined as a belief that spirits of the dead exist and have the ability and desire to communicate with the living. Meanwhile, Psychic offers palm and tarot readings, and astrological advice to tell you that they have seen something either wonderful or terrible in your future.
Psychics make lofty predictions.
Want to know when you’ll find love? Want the answers to all the questions you’ve been dying to know? Or do you want to know where your career is going? Or do you want to know what chances are waiting for you around the corner? Just go ahead and simply ask to find out.
However, some supposed psychic readers are involved in Fraud. Scam psychics prey on people who are grieving, lonely, or struggling emotionally, physically, or financially. Other self-proclaimed clairvoyants seek customers via telephone hotlines, as did the famed TV psychic Miss Cleo in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Now, a South Florida woman who identified herself as a psychic was sentenced to federal prison alongside her accomplice for organizing a “family curse, fortune telling, and defrauding a victim out of more than $3 million.”
Samantha Stevens, 51, was working as a psychic in Miami in 2012 when she met a woman. Stevens persuaded the other woman that her family was cursed and that she urgently needed Stevens’ psychic services.
Over the course of time, Stevens and her accomplice, 42-year-old Michael Paul Guzman, extracted more than three million dollars from the victim, using the money they stole to pay for gambling, real estate, and vehicles for their client.
For a sizable fee, Stevens would carry out spiritual cleansing ceremonies on the client’s behalf. The client was tricked into believing that Stevens was the real deal. She made a vow to her client that she would break the severe curse that hung over everything she did and would affect the woman and her family.
While claiming that the curse had not yet been lifted and that she still required her psychic assistance to break it, Stevens carried out purification ritual after purification ritual for years and would kept extorting cash from her victim.
However, in 2016 Stevens cut all communication with her victim, letting the “curse” follow the woman and her family. When the victim’s funds ran out, Stevens abandoned her and looked for another victim to con.
Both Stevens and Guzman entered guilty pleas to charges of money laundering schemes. Once the charges were brought against Stevens and Guzman, both did not fight very hard because they knew they had been caught in the act.
Because she threatened her victim with harm if she did not pay Stevens to perform her extravagant cleansing rituals, Stevens was able to extort substantial sums of money from her victim.
“Stevens claimed she needed to perform rituals on large sums of money in order to lift the curse. Failure to do so—the victim was led to believe—would result in harm to her and her family.”
Claiming that her cleansing rituals were part of her religious beliefs, Stevens pleaded in court. When she was paid the fictitious psychic to rid her house of the curse that endangered the safety of her family, she stated that her victim “got exactly what she bargained for.”
After Stevens shut off communication with her victim in 2016, the victim contacted law enforcement to report her as a scam. Stevens was sentenced to pay $3.198 million in restitution to the victim for stealing so much money over the years for the fraudulent operation as a would-be psychic. The customer ultimately paid Stevens and Guzman a total of $3.198 million over the years.
Juan Antonio Gonzalez conducted the investigation into Stevens while Special Agent in Charge Matthew D. Line, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Haggerty, and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida prosecuted, according to Daily Mail.