Manitowoc -- Police on Wednesday arrested a 37-year-old Manitowoc woman, who claims to be a psychic, after she allegedly scammed two area residents out of about $35,000.
Two felony counts of theft by fraud and seven counts of forgery are being recommended, said Detective Mike Stone of the Manitowoc Police Department.
“In October, we took a complaint from a Denmark man who was having problems with his marriage, finding a job and other issues,” he said.
The 42-year-old man sought help for his problems from the psychic in 2010, but was too embarrassed to make a report earlier, Stone said.
“Ultimately, he claims she performed an egg ritual on him in which she stood behind him and rubbed an egg on his back and then cracked open the egg in a bowl and a bunch of worms were inside of it. Those were the evil spirits that come out of him (she told the man),” he said.
The psychic told him she needed $12,000 to perform more rituals to rid him of these evil spirits and the man gave her about $23,000 total, Stone said. When he complained to her, she returned a small portion of his money and then cut off all contact, he said.
The man decided to come forward when he realized he had been scammed and his life hadn’t changed for the better, plus he wanted to prevent others from being duped, Stone said.
When questioned, the woman told police she had bought hundreds of candles and quartz crystals to help him. The man told police he only saw one candle and one crystal. She denied performing an egg ritual.
“At that point, based on the law, we didn’t feel we had quite enough to pursue charges, but in our heart of hearts we felt differently,” Stone said.
The case took a turn in August. That’s when a 63-year-old rural Manitowoc woman contacted police with a complaint about the psychic.
The woman began seeking spiritual guidance from the psychic in May. According to the victim’s account, the psychic performed an egg ritual that she said revealed a demon from the woman’s ex-husband from two lives ago. This demon, she claimed, got into the woman’s daughter and was causing negativity in the woman, Stone said.
The psychic asked for $12,000 to get rid of the demon and when the woman didn’t have it, drove her to a local bank so she could withdraw $3,900 in a cash advance, the maximum allowed on her two credit cards, he said.
The woman told police the psychic performed a ritual with the money and then asked to keep the credit cards, Stone said.
Over three weeks’ time, the psychic made purchases online and at local businesses with the cards. She bought groceries, clothing and got her nails done, signing the victim’s name, he said.
In all, the woman was out nearly $12,000, Stone said.
When the victim complained, the psychic returned a small portion of her money, he said.
The psychic eventually admitted to police that she fraudulently used the victim’s credit cards to make personal purchases and signed the victim’s name to the transactions, Stone said.
“It’s a person taking advantage of someone else’s weaknesses, that’s what it is,” he said. “We believe there could possibly be other victims out there who might be too embarrassed to come forward. We would encourage anyone who feels they have been scammed or defrauded to contact the police department.”
As for the psychic: “I would have thought (she) would have seen this coming,” Stone said.
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