Psychic Sees 500G Scam Charge

New York Daily News/February 7, 1999
By Patrice O'Shaughnessy

Manhattan fortune teller was charged yesterday with bilking $500,000 from a client by promising to rid her of evil spirits, police said.

Patricia Miller, 47, of 250 W. 72nd St., who went by the name of Grace and wore flowing dresses, was charged with scheming to defraud, grand larceny and fortune telling, cops said.

The victim, a middle-age Manhattan woman, visited Miller 50 times between March 1994 and June 1998 at a place Miller had on W. 74th St., said Lt. Robert Groth of the special frauds squad.

"The victim went to her and was told she was surrounded by evil, cursed. Her family was cursed, and to relieve the curse she had to do things that the psychic told her," Groth said.

The woman was instructed to light special candles that cost $50 each, use specific lotions and potions and take baths in certain solutions, all of which were costly, Groth said.

Once, Miller told the victim to rub an egg on her body and then bring Miller the egg. Using sleight of hand, Miller opened the egg and showed the victim blood inside it, which she told the victim was proof of the evil that possessed her, police said.

"The victim used her family savings," Groth said. "[Miller] drained her dry."

The woman told cops about her case after she heard police were targeting fraudulent psychics and fortune tellers in Operation Crystal Ball. Miller also was arrested last November on similar charges.

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