Self-described psychic pleads guilty to stealing about $200K from victim

City News Service/June 1, 2012

Santa Ana -- A 36-year-old woman who claimed to be a psychic pleaded guilty to stealing about $200,000 from a client, a prosecutor said today.

Lisa Debbie Adams of Los Angeles pleaded guilty Thursday to grand theft with a sentencing enhancement for white collar crime exceeding $100,000. She accepted a plea bargain that will allow her to avoid jail if she can repay the money she stole, Deputy District Attorney Demetra Lewis said.

Sentencing has been set for May 29, 2014.

Adams repaid the victim $50,000 before charges were filed and made another payment of $70,000 before Thursday's court hearing, Lewis said. Adams has pledged to pay $30,000 every six months until she has paid back another $128,000, Lewis said.

If Adams makes the payments on time she will be sentenced to probation and community service, Lewis said. If not, Adams will face a year in jail, Lewis added.

The victim was walking in West Hollywood with friends in June 2008 when Adams gave her a flier advertising her business as a psychic, according to Orange County Deputy District Attorney Matt Lockhart, the case's original prosecutor.

The woman felt lonely at the time so she went to see the psychic and Adams told her that for a fee she could rid the victim of a curse she inherited while in her mother's womb, Lockhart said.

Adams had the woman withdraw money from an IRA and other sources between June 2008 and August 2009, including as much as $96,000 once, Lockhart said.

At one point when the victim did not want to see the so-called psychic anymore Adams told her the woman's family would be in danger if she didn't follow Adams' directions, Lockhart said.

Adams had the woman buy $30,000 in gold bars as a "shield" and open several credit card accounts to buy clothes, furniture, electronics, jewelry and other goods, Lockhart said.

Adams was also accused of having the woman buy a Mercedes-Benz convertible the victim could not afford and had to sell back to a dealership for a $5,000 loss, Lockhart said.

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