A Randolph woman has sued her former psychic for fraud, alleging the woman took $160,000 of her money, including borrowing her credit card to buy jewelry, by exploiting her depression and making her believe she might die without her assistance.
Filed by attorney Noel C. Crowley on behalf of Randolph resident Karen Brown, the lawsuit accuses psychic Paula Lee, also known as Pauline Lee, of fraud and deceit and seeks return of $160,000.
Lee could not immediately be reached, as an Internet website listing her as a psychic in Randolph was not working.
"My client was preyed upon by this person with her superstitious tales and scary warnings," Crowley said. He said he believes that Lee may be in the process of moving her psychic office.
Before she filed the suit - made public Tuesday in Superior Court, Morristown - Brown filed a complaint for fraud with Randolph police in November 2008 but was advised it was a civil matter.
The suit states that Brown in December 2004 saw a sign for Lee's business, advertising help in marriage and relationships, and went to her because she was feeling sad and vulnerable about her marriage and on medication for depression.
Brown became convinced that Lee "had genuine psychic abilities, powers and the ability to influence future events," the suit said. She claimed she could communicate with departed souls and convinced Brown she was under a curse and "dark forces were obstructing her efforts to find happiness," the suit said.
Lee, allegedly, also claimed her psychic powers had medicinal value "by saying the cancer which plaintiff contracted, and which had necessitated radical surgery, would have been fatal without" Lee's efforts, the suit said.
Lee allegedly convinced Brown to give her money that she promised to return, and borrowed her credit card to buy an $11,000 ring, the suit said.
She also used Brown's credit card to buy a miniature scale model of a church that cost $12,000, persuaded her to turn over a charm bracelet and pearl necklace valued at $3,000 together, and got her to co-sign a loan for a Chevrolet Suburban vehicle, the suit said.
Monies were turned over from Brown to Lee between December 2004 and April 2008, the lawsuit said.
Brown became disillusioned when none of Lee's specific predictions came true so she began demanding back the extra money she had extended.
Brown was refunded $19,000 of the $160,000 she believes she is owed, but she also received an e-mail from a person writing on Lee's behalf that warned Brown might die if the psychic returned money because she would stop her ministrations, the lawsuit said.