S. Fla. 'psychic' who defrauded millions from clients loses criminal appeal

Sun Sentinel, Florida/August 4, 2015

By Paula McMahon

Convicted "psychic" Rose Marks, who is imprisoned for defrauding more than $17.8 million from clients of her family's fortune-telling business, lost the appeal of her criminal convictions Tuesday.

Marks, 64, formerly of Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, is serving 10 years at the minimum-security federal prison camp in Alderson, W. Va.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Marks felony convictions and ruled the $17.8 million in restitution she was ordered to pay was appropriate. The appellate court also ruled the 10-year prison term imposed by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra was reasonable.

Marks has been locked up since September 2013 when a jury in federal court in West Palm Beach found her guilty of 14 charges, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, fraud, money-laundering, and filing false tax returns.

The bizarre month-long trial included testimony from many former clients, including best-selling romance novelist Jude Deveraux, a client since 1991, and another woman Marks knew for 34 years.

Deveraux and other victims testified that Marks and her family — several of whom used the name Joyce Michael when they worked in Fort Lauderdale and Manhattan — exploited them during vulnerable times in their lives. Nine family members were convicted of related crimes.

The three-judge panel rejected Marks' allegations that federal prosecutors committed misconduct during the investigation and trial.

"Marks can point to no favorable evidence that the government possessed but did not turn over to the defense…," the judges wrote in an eight-page order.

The appeals court also rejected the defense's complaints that the judge did not individually question all potential jurors about their potential biases about fortune tellers.

Some of the victims testified Marks, who masterminded the fraud, convinced them she had special powers that included swapping people's souls between bodies, preventing a woman from conceiving a child, and even stop the Internal Revenue Service from going after clients for taxes.

Marks convinced Deveraux the author was secretly communicating — by email — with actor Brad Pitt and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Deveraux also said Marks exploited her grief when Deveraux's 8-year-old son, Sam, died in an ATV accident in October 2005.

With standard time off for good behavior, Marks is scheduled for release in June 2022. Her two daughters-in-law, Nancy Marks and Cynthia Miller, who are imprisoned at the same camp as Rose Marks, are scheduled for release in March.

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