A fortune teller who played on her main victim's fear of witchcraft was ordered to pay more than $402,700 in restitution and sentenced to one year and three months in federal prison on Monday.
Olivia Evans, 22, was the last of three family members to be sentenced for her part in a fraud that tricked a dozen victims out of close to $2.2 million, according to court records.
Bridgette Evans, 33, of Hollywood, and her sister Pollie Evans, 37, of Broward County and Dallas, Texas, are already serving their prison terms. Between them, the three women were ordered to repay the money they admitted taking from victims.
Olivia Evans, formerly of Hollywood and Fort Worth, Texas, confessed that she instructed a woman, who prosecutors said was vulnerable, to send her a men's "Rolex watch with a prism" saying it was "needed to be used as a vortex for demons to return to hell."
Evans cried and looked mournfully at her father when she learned she was going to prison. She wailed as she was handcuffed and taken into custody in the courtroom.
"I was guided in the wrong way of life and now I realize what I've done wrong," Evans told the judge. She said that her perspective on life changed when she became a mother.
Evans, whose sentencing was delayed so she could give birth to her second child at home, asked the judge to sentence her to house arrest and probation so she could care for her children, who are both younger than 3.
She told the judge that she had not slept for two days prior to the sentencing hearing and that she wanted to tell all of the victims in the case "how deeply sorry I am."
Evans pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud in September. She was the junior member of the trio and claimed that she turned over most of her earnings to her mother-in-law, Pollie Evans.
Olivia Evans' attorney, Richard Merlino, asked for leniency, writing that she had not really chosen her way of life but was born into it.
"Olivia Evans was born and later adopted within the Romany gypsy culture in the United States ... [she] was removed from school in the fifth grade and briefly home schooled thereafter. At the age of five, she was taught by her adoptive mother the art of psychic mysticism," Merlino wrote. "Philosophically, one can argue a distinction between lifestyle by birth and lifestyle by choice."
Evans told U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas that she wants to get her GED and "show my children an American way of life."
The judge said he had to impose a sentence that would promote respect for the law and was skeptical this was Evans' only transgression, given the evidence.
Bridgette Evans was sentenced to three years and one month in prison and ordered to pay more than $1.6 million in restitution. Pollie Evans is serving three years and five months and was ordered to repay $188,971.