A self-proclaimed Fort Collins psychic is accused of bilking $37,000 from a woman distraught over a breakup with her boyfriend.
Gina Marks and her husband, Steven Marks, were arrested Monday. Both are charged with Class 4 felony theft. Additional felony counts of identity theft and financial crimes have been lodged against Gina Marks.
Police say the couple convinced the woman to buy mystical crystals from them and to give them Target gift cards which Gina Marks later spent on electronics and home goods.
The victim of the alleged theft first met Gina Marks, 38, in August 2013 for a palm reading after breaking up with her boyfriend and "questioning several aspects of her life," police wrote in Gina Marks' arrest affidavit. Marks at that time told the woman to burn orange candles before bed and after six or seven nights, "she would dream about the person she was to be with."
When the dream didn't happen, the woman met with Marks for a follow-up tarot card reading. That's when Gina and Steven Marks promised to work with the woman until she found her soul mate.
The Coloradoan is withholding the victim's name due to the sensitivity of the case.
The woman paid $120 for twice-weekly meetings. She was instructed to text Gina Marks about her dreams and open a Bible to random pages and text Gina Marks the chapter and verse," police wrote.
The alleged victim said she kept thinking of the number "nine," to which Gina Marks said she needed $9,000 in an envelope the two exchanged throughout their meetings.
As the woman started to have doubts about Marks and faced financial hardships she asked for her $9,000 back, police said.
Police say Steven Marks, 35, got involved at that point, as the couple convinced the woman to spend a combined $21,700 on gems that would prevent her ex-boyfriend from finding love on Match.com, among other claims.
The woman also opened a credit line at Target to purchase thousands of dollars in gift cards, which Gina Marks reportedly said she would meditate over and return to the client. When the woman asked why she never received the cards, "Steve Marks said the gift cards were in a Bible and Gina Marks was working on them," police wrote.
Later, Steven Marks said the only way to ensure happiness was for the woman to spend $67,500 on "Armor of God," a spiritual and non-tangible item that consisted of a helmet, breastplate and sword, police said.
If she didn't oblige, her soul mate would forget about her and "would meet a blonde sex addict" who Steven Marks "described as the spawn of Satan in mortal form," the affidavit states.
About that time, the woman saw news reports on scams involving psychics and took her matter to a private investigator. She reported her involvement with the Marks to police in August 2014.
Investigators determined that Target gift cards purchased by the woman were used to buy two iPads, an Xbox, PlayStation 4, razor, clothes and TV. A food stamps benefits card rounded out a purchase not entirely covered by the gift cards. That card was confirmed to have been issued to Gina Marks.
Police in February served a search warrant on the Marks' home in the 800 block of West Mulberry Street and located several of the items purchased at Target, pawn shop receipts, out-of-state IDs and a Hamilton County, Ohio, Sheriff's Office badge.
Police also located credit cards believed to have been stolen from someone the Marks knew previously.
Gina Marks is due in court Thursday, and Steven Marks is due on Friday.
Self-proclaimed Fort Collins psychics in the Marks family have been involved in criminal cases in recent years. Adam Marks was arrested in 2012 and charged with stealing more than $20,000 to help heal a woman's "negative aura."
John Marks Jr. was convicted in 2012 of murdering his longtime wife, Kathy Adams, also known as Psychic Kay for the business she ran in Fort Collins. John Marks is the father of Steven Marks and Adam Marks.
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