Psychic and Fortune Teller Scams
'Psychic' charged with grand theft
Woman accused of taking $30,000 with promise to rid cash and client of curse
10/08/09 - HOLLYWOOD - A self-proclaimed psychic on probation after pleading guilty to fraud charges earlier this year has been arrested again, once more accused of promising to lift a curse from a client's money.
Gina Marie Marks, 36, of Hollywood, was arrested today and charged with grand theft. Marks is accused of taking more than $30,000 from a client in 2007. She was held in the Broward main jail, with bail set at $5,000.
Bob Nygaard, a Boca Raton-based private investigator hired by Marks' client, said Marks told the client that an ex-boyfriend's new lover had placed a curse on the client. One way to lift the curse was to withdraw cash and hand it to Marks to be cleansed, Marks said, according to Nygaard.
Once cleansed, the cash was to be returned, Nygaard said. That never happened, he said.
Marks faced similar accusations earlier this year year. Five clients, all from Broward County, handed Marks a total of $65,000 to rid the money of demons, officials said.
Marks was arrested in January and convicted of fraud charges in May. She was sentenced to 18 months on probation and ordered to repay the money, said Nygaard, who represented the five clients.
Marks wasn't charged with violating her probation because the most recent alleged crime - involving a Broward client who no longer lives in Florida, Nygaard said - took place before Marks was sentenced.
Marks lives in Hollywood and operated her psychic business there and in Weston. She published a book called Miami Psychic - Confessions of a Confidante in 2006 under the name Regina Milbourne. She also has used the alias Zara Margazio, an arrest report states.
Copyright © 2009, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Gina Marks Busted Again
Posted by CareyCodd
The well-known psychic, Gina Marks, is back in the Broward County Jail this afternoon.
We wrote about Marks late last year after five Broward women claimed Marks stole $65,000 from them in a bizarre case that involved "cleansing" the money to rid the women of evil spirits and curses.
Marks eventually repaid the money and is serving 18 months on probation. SEE THE CBS4 STORY HERE
But now Marks faces a new charge of grand theft.
According to private investigator Bob Nygaard -- who built this most recent case against Marks -- a Broward woman enlisted the services of Marks in 2007. Nygaard said Marks was using the name "Psychic Zara." The woman wanted help with relationship problems and Marks promised to help.
Nygaard said Marks performed a series of rituals and said she needed to clean the woman's money to lift a curse and evil spirits that surrounded the woman and her family.
The woman paid Marks more than $30,000.
Marks' attorney Jim Lewis told me Marks is offering to pay back the cash.
Also, since this incident happened in 2007 it pre-dates the arrest from 2008. That means it will not be seen as a violation of Marks' probation.
I've been writing for a long while about the exploits about Gina Marie Marks, AKA Regina Milbourne, author of the sham book Miami Psychic and veteran Gypsy con artist. I first exposed her on this here blog a little while back.
Well, this morning she appeared before Circuit Judge Cynthia Imperato and pleaded guilty to a felony fraud count and agreed to pay back $65,000 to several victims. She was sentenced to probation.
I received the following from private investigator Bob Nygaard yesterday. He's the man who built the case and filed the complaint with the State Attorney's Office.
"This is Bob Nygaard the Private Investigator from Boca Raton that investigated and built the Organized Scheme to Defraud Case against Gina Marie Marks on behalf of the 5 women who were victimized in Broward County last year. I just wanted to give you an update.
Based on the quality and strength of my investigation and the pressure that was exerted on the Broward State Attorney's Office by your excellent coverage of the crime, Gina Marie Marks has decided to change her plea from Not Guilty to Guilty.
She will be pleading guilty to a felony, will receive probation, and will be paying back all the victims every single cent that she stole from them. I think that this is an excellent resolution to this case given the fact that although she has been implicated in defrauding numerous people she has never previously been convicted of a crime.
The victims will be receiving all of their money back AND Gina will finally be admitting that she has been engaged in a fraudulent fortunetelling scheme, on the record, in front of a judge. In addition if she violates her probation by engaging in any future crimes, she will run the risk of going to prison.
Ah, I love the smell of justice in the morning, yet it's bittersweet, as there are a lot of other beaten and broken people who lost huge amounts of money to this woman who will likely never see a cent of it back."
By Bob Norman - May. 8 2009
Professed psychic accused of swindling client
Authorities said Gina Marie Marks took $300,000 in cash, gift cards, and other items
March 17, 2010 By Rafael A. Olmeda, Sun Sentinel
Time was short, the psychic told her client. To keep her father from suffering a fatal heart attack, the client had to act fast.
So she did. The client went to the Aventura Mall and opened accounts in several stores, using the credit to buy thousands of dollars in gift cards, which she then turned over to the psychic.
It worked. The heart attack never came.
But the arrest did. Professed psychic Gina Marie Marks is in trouble with the law again, this time facing charges she swindled a former Coconut Grove woman out of nearly $300,000 in cash, gift cards, jewelry, and other merchandise, the Broward Sheriff's Office said.
An arrest warrant detailed the gift card allegation along with a host of increasingly bizarre and expensive demands that took place over a 19-month period that ended in February. Marks, 37, was arrested last Thursday and is being held without bail at the Paul Rein Detention Facility in Pompano Beach.
According to the arrest warrant, Marks duped her victim into forking over large amounts of cash and performing strange rituals that made the gift card spending spree seem reasonable.
At one point, the client was allegedly asked to rub gel over her body, wrap herself in cellophane and go for a six-mile jog. That was in September 2008, according to a private detective later hired by the victim's family. The woman went for the jog while wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants, said the detective, Bob Nygaard.
The Sheriff's Office described the victim as being in a "fragile mental state," but Nygaard said that was the result of her interaction with Marks. Nygaard, who has investigated allegations against Marks before, said the victim was manipulated and conned into giving Marks money so that Marks could "cleanse" it and return it to her.
The money was never returned, the Sheriff's Office said.
Marks, of Hollywood, had been arrested several times before on similar charges. She currently faces charges of illegally obtaining property over $50,000, grand theft and violation of probation.
Shopping for Psychic Scam Victims
An Hispanic woman approached me when I went for dinner in a mall in Boston after attending a conference there on Aug 26, 2010. She gently grabbed my arm from behind, and told me that we needed to talk. She didn’t look like a bad person, and introduced herself as “Angelina”. She had big brown eyes, long dark hair, was roughly 5' 1 tall, and claimed to be 32 years old and from New York.
Angelina told me that she was a psychic and my spirit had asked her to help me because I was in trouble. She elaborated that I was meant to reach a higher level in my career, as well as meet my soul-mate, BUT something evil was holding me back.
Repeatedly she said she saw four evil spirits around me. Apparently, someone years before had placed a curse or darkness upon me and this was the cause of all my worries and unhappiness, that it affected my past, present and would affect my future even worse… and so on.
Then she stated that if I wanted to be happy she had the gift and power to remove the curse placed on me and was able to do so for a “one-time fee” of only $151. She told me that the money was for her church and that upon payment she would do some meditation that night focusing on helping me.
I told her I didn’t have that kind of money with me, so she asked me to give her as much I could and to give her the rest after I got back home. She was very persuasive, and I was receptive, especially since my workplace is going to shut down and I am about to lose my job. Vulnerable and worried, I agreed to try and gave her $100. She asked me to call her next day after I arrived home, and she would tell me who had placed the curse and how to break it.
I called Angelina after I got home and she told me that she needed to do more meditation because the evils were ever so strong. She first stated that the curse was placed on me by a jealous female friend and that the person used things that were not natural or holy to commit this act, but then it turns out the curse was put on my Mom originally and carried over the generation. We set a time and a place to meet each other.
I met Angelina again in a Mall in the evening on August 30, 2010. I gave her the remaining $51 and she said I needed to create a "package". She asked me to write down “10” things I'd need for it. The first nine things would be easy to get but didn’t make any sense to me at all. The last thing made me very suspicious since she wanted me to get “nine” $100 bills. She kept telling me the money would get back to me afterwards and that I had nothing to lose.
Eventually, she realized that I don’t have that much money so she asked me to get “nine” $20 bills instead and to then wrap everything in a white shirt and put the package under my bed overnight. She asked me to call her when I had everything ready, so she could meditate for me at the same time. Then we would set a time to meet again so she could examine everything in the wrapping.
As I walked through a supermarket gathering all the things she instructed, I started feeling really foolish and decided to call it off. I called Angelina but she didn’t pick up my call. I left a message for her that I was not comfortable to do what she suggested and I haven't heard from her since.
Here's her ad running in Chinese papers which seems to suggest she targets Chinese victims like myself..
ANGELINA World Renown Spiritual Psychic. RATED #1. Helps Love, Marriage, Family, Business. Reunites Separated. Spiritual Cleansing for Mind, Body, Spirit. Guaranteed Immediate Results. 1-347-777-5727
Luckily I'm just out $151 and rid of one curse, the scamming psychic known as Angelina.
Psychic Scammer Didn't See Private Eye on Her Trail
On February 25, 2011 fraudulent gypsy psychic fortuneteller, Priscilla Kelly Delmaro, was arrested after turning herself in on warrants that were issued for her in regards to crimes that she is alleged to have committed in both Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
The details of the Palm Beach crime is as follows;
Over the course of a 4 day period, beginning on December 19th, 2009 through December 22nd, 2009 , “PSYCHIC GIANNA” , AKA “Priscilla Kelly Delmaro”, AKA “Kelly Delmaro”, DOB 03/09/1989, who once resided at 1841 Bomar Dr., North Palm Beach Florida, did knowingly and willfully engage in a scheme to defraud a 22 year old Palm Beach Gardens woman with the intent to obtain property from her by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises, or willful misrepresentations of future acts.
“Kelly Delmaro” did knowingly and willfully financially exploit the victim under the guise of assisting her. “Kelly Delmaro” did engage in a fortune-telling scheme and defrauded the victim of U.S. Currency, assorted jewelry, and a Gucci handbag, which had an aggregate value of over $30,000.
The crime involved gaining the victim’s confidence/trust, and then through careful managed manipulation, convincing the victim to give her money, jewelry, and a Gucci handbag/pocketbook. The victim was first accosted by Priscilla Kelly Delmaro while shopping at the Palm Beach Gardens Mall in December of 2009, where she received a “psychic reading” from “Kelly Delmaro” for a nominal fee ($40.00).
During the “reading”, “Kelly Delmaro” elicited information from the victim and then repeated the information back to the victim in such a way as to make her believe that she possessed certain “special powers” or “psychic abilities” (a technique known as “cold reading”).
“Kelly Delmaro” also learned information about the victim by looking at a photograph that the victim was told to bring to a subsequent “reading”, which was conducted at 1841 Bomar Drive, North Palm Beach. “Kelly Delmaro” convinced the victim that she had a “charcoal grey aura”, that she was surrounded by “negativity”, and that “evil spirits” were plaguing her.
She convinced the victim that she would never achieve happiness unless the “negativity” and the “evil spirits” were removed. She defrauded the victim by making numerous false promises and willful misrepresentations to her.
She told the victim that she needed to perform various rituals to remove the “negativity” and “evil spirits”.
She was instructed to go to the bank and withdraw 22 bills, 'the bigger the better" -the significance of the number 22 being that it was her age), put them in an envelope, and write down all her problems/anything that was bothering her in her life on a piece of paper.
She also instructed the victim to get an egg, kiss it, blow on it, say prayers, and move it all around her body, especially in the vicinity of her "woman area" (Delmaro had previously told the victim that she had problems in her “woman area”) before she went to bed.
She said that she needed to place everything under her bed prior to going to sleep that night. She impressed upon the victim that it was very important that she not tell anyone about the “work” that they were doing" because she said it would "ruin everything."
She said that if the victim told anyone, she would no longer be able to help her. The victim went home and subsequently performed the rituals involving the money and the egg as instructed.
The next morning “Kelly Delmaro” instructed the victim to bring the envelope containing the money, the white piece of paper that she had written all her problems on, and the egg to her house. The victim drove to Delmaro’s house.
When the victim arrived, Delmaro informed the victim that despite the fact that she had performed all the rituals, there was still ninety percent "negativity" left and that her "aura" was still "charcoal grey". She said that there was a lot more work that needed to be done.
Delmaro then performed some rituals, which involved a Buddha statue, the lighting of some candles, and some incense. Delmaro instructed the victim to stand in the corner while holding the burning incense and she instructed the victim to read from the piece of paper/letter that she had written all of her problems on. At one point, Delmaro came over and hugged the victim.
Delmaro subsequently took the egg, placed it in a Publix bag, and tried to break it but she said it would not break. Delmaro finally pulled the egg out of the bag (of course she had switched it) broke the egg open and showed the victim a "black wormy snake like creature" that she said had come out of the egg.
She said, "look what came out of your body, look these are the "evil spirits" that came out of your body!" Delmaro scared the victim half to death. Delmaro said, "If I don't take care of this within three hours "it" (the evil spirits) will come back to me!"
Delmaro then showed the victim a catalogue. She showed the victim an item that looked like a "small gold house/shrine" and said, "This costs $10,000 dollars". She said, "You have to buy this because we need to put the egg in it and bury it together!"
She also showed the victim a "gold shield" and said, "This is a "gold shield" that you will need to buy "for protection", it costs $15,000 dollars but don't worry you will be able to sell it and get all your money back once we are done."
She told the victim that they needed to act very quickly and that there was no time to waste. Delmaro said that she had to go to "the church" and consult with her "superior" right away about everything.
She convinced the victim that various “bad things” would happen to her if she didn’t purchase the $15,000 “gold shield” right away, and that someone in her family would die in 2010 if she didn’t purchase the $10,000 “gold shrine/house” right away.
She convinced the victim that it was imperative that the money, jewelry, and Gucci handbag/pocketbook that she had coerced her into giving her all needed to be taken to “her superior” at “the church” to be blessed and “cleansed of evil spirits”.
She assured the victim the property would be returned once it had been cleansed but it never was.
“Kelly Delmaro” did obtain over $30,000 of property from the victim by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises, and willful misrepresentations of future acts.
The victim subsequently realized that giving “Kelly Delmaro” all of her life’s savings in just the matter of a few days had been a huge mistake. She called Delmaro and asked for her money back but Delmaro said that she couldn’t return it.
The victim realized that she had been conned. The victim went to Delmaro’s house to try to get her money back but Delmaro still refused to return it. The victim subsequently called Delmaro numerous times demanding her money back but Delmaro kept making excuses and stalling her.
Finally Delmaro told the victim that she would give her everything back and instructed the victim to come to her home on a future date but when the victim arrived on the designated date at the designated time as instructed she discovered that the house was empty and Delmaro had fled.
Now fully realizing that she had been “conned” the victim enlisted the help of Boca Raton Private Investigator Bob Nygaard, an expert in “Bunco crimes”, to locate Delmaro and build a criminal case against her.
(*Note-Private Investigator Nygaard is a decorated retired NY police officer and member of the National Association of Bunco Investigators who conducted investigations on behalf of eight Broward County women in 2008 and 2009 which led to multiple convictions of well-known fraudulent gypsy psychic fortuneteller “Gina Marie Marks”)
Private Investigator Nygaard conducted an intensive investigation, located Delmaro at 1631 NE 51st St, Fort Lauderdale in Broward County, built a criminal case against her, and forwarded the case to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Financial Crimes Unit.
The case was then presented to the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office with a warrant request. While the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office was reviewing the warrant request, Priscilla Kelly Delmaro was arrested in Broward County by the Wilton Manors P.D. for a misdemeanor offense dealing with returning merchandise using bogus sales receipts.
The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office subsequently issued a capias warrant for the felony offenses that Priscilla Kelly Delmaro had committed in Palm Beach County.
Officers attempted to arrest Delmaro at 1631 NE 51st St., Fort Lauderdale on the warrant but by that time she had already fled from that address as well. Delmaro subsequently failed to appear at her scheduled court dates (calendar call, and change of plea hearing) in Broward County pertaining to the Broward County offense.
An arrest warrant was subsequently issued by Judge Mary Robinson. Priscilla Kelly Delmaro finally turned herself in last Friday (February 25, 2011) and she is now facing charges in both Broward and Palm Beach counties. Bond was set at $9,500.
--- It is extremely likely that Priscilla Kelly Delmaro” AKA “Psychic Gianna” has victimized other vulnerable residents of both Broward AND Palm Beach Counties who might come forward as a result of the publication of this story.
All the information in this story was obtained from Private Investigator Bob Nygaard and is accurate in regards to the facts and circumstances concerning the crimes that Priscilla Kelly Delmaro is alleged to have committed.
Should you need any additional details you can contact P.I. Bob Nygaard at 561-596-3443, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Financial Crimes Unit, the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office, the Wilton Manors P.D., and the Broward County State Attorney’s Office.
P.S. The name of the victim is purposely being withheld out of respect for the victim since the emotional abuse and financial devastation that victims are subjected to at the hands of fraudulent psychic fortunetellers is immeasurable and the victims are often extremely embarrassed about having been “conned.”
Not All Romanian Fortune Tellers are Psychic Scammers
Over the course of almost two years, starting on or about May 23, 2011 and lasting until at least April 16, 2013, Betty Vlado, a 44 year old self-purported psychic of American Romanian descent, who operated a fortunetelling parlor on the Upper East Side at 247 East 77th St., is alleged to have engaged in a fortunetelling scheme to defraud a 34 year old Manhattan woman of approximately $50,000.
The crime involved gaining the victim’s complete confidence and trust, and then using fear and careful managed psychological manipulation, to convince the victim to give her money and other valuables.
The arrest of Betty Vlado was the result of an intensive investigation, which was conducted by Private Investigator Bob Nygaard, a member of the National Association of Bunco Investigators, who was hired by the victim and who specializes in the detection, identification, apprehension, and prosecution of “con-artists” throughout the United States.
He is the CEO of Nygaard Investigations Inc., which is headquartered on Wall St. in NYC and Unclaimed Money 101, Inc. in Boca Raton, Fl. The victim hired Nygaard after researching the internet and reading about Nygaard’s past successes in helping victims of "fraudulent fortunetellers" navigate their way through the criminal justice system.
With the victim's help, Nygaard built a criminal case against Betty Vlado and submitted the investigation to the NYPD 19th Precinct Detective Squad on April 20, 2013. Vlado was subsequently arrested on May 21, 2013, and charged with Grand Larceny 2nd degree, Fortunetelling, and Labor Trafficking.
In the middle of May 2011, the victim was walking down East 77th St. and she passed a woman who was handing out flyers and who lured her in by stating, “I have something to tell you.” She told the victim something to the effect of, “I see darkness surrounding you.” The victim was intrigued.
The victim had never been to a psychic before and she was skeptical but she asked the woman for a flyer anyway and told her that she would return. The woman handed the victim the flyer and the following words and phone number were written on it: Psychic Tarot Cards and Readings, Special $5 Palm Readings, By Miss Lisa, 917-536-2167, 247 E 77th ST. E OFFICE.
On or about May 23, 2011, despite the victim's initial skepticism, she went to 247 East 77th, St., which was the address of the fortunetelling parlor that was listed on the flyer. The awning above the fortuneteller parlor/storefront read “Khristine’s Energy Crystals.” The victim entered the parlor and met a fortuneteller who told her that she was the “head person” and who said her name was Betty.
Betty Vlado conducted a "cold reading" during which she learned some of the victim's vulnerabilities in that, the victim desperately wanted to get back together with her ex-boyfriend with whom she had recently broken up, the victim was extremely fearful of becoming “a hoarder” like two of her relatives, and the victim was experiencing work related stress which was brought on by an unhappy and toxic work environment.
Vlado convinced the victim that she needed to “channel her energy,” because according to Vlado, the victim's “energy was out of alignment” and the victim's “third eye” and aura were black. Vlado also said that she wanted to perform a tarot card reading.
Vlado told the victim that it was going to cost $200. Vlado did the tarot card reading and then Vlado conducted the “channeling” ritual that involved Vlado and the victim holding hands and the use of a “rose quartz stone.”
After the “channeling,” Vlado told the victim that there was a lot more “work” that needed to be done. The victim left and went to the bank, withdrew $200, and came back and paid Vlado. Before the victim left, Vlado said that she needed to see the victim again in order for her to help her.
Vlado said that it was very important for her to ascertain the root cause of the victim's problems or else the victim's problems would continue. Vlado said that it would be a long process, but she guaranteed the victim that she would end up married to her ex-boyfriend if she had faith in Vlado's “work” and if the victim trusted Vlado completely.
Vlado explicitly informed the victim that if at any time, the victim wasn’t fully satisfied with Vlado's “work” and/or the results, that Vlado would return any money that the victim gave her in full, at the asking.
On or about June 8, 2011, Vlado conned the victim into believing that a “negative seed” that involved “a curse” had been implanted in her and if she didn’t give Vlado money to perform “spiritual rituals/cleansings” that the victim, would never be able to love anyone again, never get back together with her ex-boyfriend, and that the victim would become a hoarder like two of her relatives.
Betty Vlado purported that she possessed “a gift”/“psychic ability”/supernatural powers” to remove the “negative seed”/”curse.”
In the days, months, and years that followed, Vlado cold-heartedly extorted money from the victim under the guise of assisting her. Vlado convinced the victim that unless the victim gave her money to buy “materials” such as alleged expensive candles, bath minerals, stones, an alleged "meteorite," alleged visual images, gold colored replica Cartier love bracelets, an alleged Rolex watch, and an alleged Yacht-Master watch to perform her alleged, “work," that the victim would never have love, happiness, or health.
VLADO CONS VICTIM INTO GIVING HER MONEY FOR ALLEGED PURCHASE OF "FAKE METEORITE"
Vlado went on to tell the victim that in order for the victim's ex-boyfriend and her to be together, the victim needed to perform rituals using a “meteorite.” Vlado purported to have “an insider” at NASA who could obtain a valuable “meteorite” that was mixed with minerals.
Vlado said that the victim's name and date of birth as well as the victim's ex-boyfriend’s name and date of birth was engraved inside the meteorite. Vlado said that the victim would need to touch the meteorite in the morning and at night and perform meditation while touching it. Vlado told the victim that Oprah Winfrey and Donald Trump used “meteorites” to be successful.
Vlado told the victim that once the victim received the “meteorite” that nobody else would be allowed to touch it. Vlado claimed that the “meteorite” would have magnetic properties and that it would be blessed before the victim received it.
Vlado instructed the victim to bring her $14,500 so that she could obtain the “meteorite” and the victim subsequently complied. (*IMPORTANT NOTE-A gemologist has analyzed the object that Betty Vlado conned the victim into believing was a “valuable meteorite” and it has now been definitively proven that the item is not a meteorite valued at $14,500 but rather crystal quartz valued at $350.00).
VLADO CONS VICTIM INTO GIVING HER MONEY FOR CONSTRUCTION OF ALLEGED VISUAL IMAGE OF VICTIM
Betty Vlado also said that she needed to construct a “visual image” of the victim to help her. Vlado told the victim that the victim needed to give her $5,290 so that she could construct the “visual image.” Vlado stated that she needed to "work with" the visual image as part of the curse removal "work."
VLADO CONS VICTIM INTO GIVING HER MONEY FOR CONSTRUCTION OF ALLEGED VISUAL IMAGE OF VICTIM'S EX-BOYFRIEND
In addition, Vlado subsequently told the victim that she needed to construct a second “visual image,” this time of the victim's ex-boyfriend, so that he could be cured of the "negative seed"/"curse" as well since the victim had allegedly passed it on to him as well.
Vlado said that she could see that the victim's ex-boyfriend would never see a psychologist or a psychic or get a “cleansing” from her so she needed to make a “visual image” of him to “work” on him and help him. Vlado instructed the victim to bring her $12,025 so that Vlado could construct the “visual image” of the victim's ex-boyfriend.
Vlado arrived at the $12,025 figure by claiming that she needed to multiply the victim's ex-boyfriend's estimated weight (185 pounds) times $65 per pound.
VLADO CONS VICTIM INTO PURCHASING TWO REPLICA CARTIER LOVE BRACELETS
At one point during the fortunetelling scam, Vlado told the victim that the victim needed to purchase two gold bracelets so that one bracelet could be strung around the victim's “visual image” and one bracelet could be strung around the victim's ex-boyfriend’s “visual image” (*Note-At first Vlado had told the victim that gold rings needed to be placed on the visual images of her ex-boyfriend and her but then Vlado convinced the victim that more expensive items that were heavier in weight would yield greater results).
Vlado told the victim that if she got cheap bracelets the results would be cheap. Vlado told the victim that she knew of a jeweler who could make replicas of the Cartier love bracelet. Vlado and the victim subsequently went to a jeweler in the vicinity of 47th St. and Fifth Ave. where the victim purchased the two replica Cartier love bracelets, for $1,000 each, as instructed.
VLADO ISOLATED VICTIM FROM ALL FRIENDS AND FAMILY AS A MEANS OF ATTEMPTING TO ENSURE THE SCAM WOULD BE SUCCESSFUL
During the course of the scam, Vlado specifically instructed the victim NOT TO TELL ANYONE about the “spiritual work” that she was doing, not the victim's parents, not the victim's friends, not any other of the victim's family members, NOT ANYONE, or else Vlado claimed that her “work” would be interfered with and would fail.
Vlado said that if the victim were to tell anyone, all of her hard work would be ruined for nothing. Vlado said that it was critical that her work be only between the victim, God, and her! Vlado was adamant that the victim agree to this and demanded that the victim acknowledge to her orally that she understood and promises to comply with her instructions.
Fearing that Vlado's work to re-unite the victim's ex-boyfriend and her would fail if the victim did not comply with Vlado's demands, the victim agreed not to tell anyone. The victim then left and went home.
VLADO PERFORMED ALLEGED "CLEANSING RITUAL" AT VICTIM'S UPPER EAST SIDE APARTMENT
On or about June 22, 2011, the victim drove to Vlado's fortunetelling parlor after work, picked Vlado up, and brought Vlado to the victim's apartment where Vlado allegedly “cleansed the apartment” with “peace water” (hematite, amethyst, and herbs). Vlado shook the bottle and told the victim that when the particles broke up it helped “remove negativity.”
VLADO CONNED VICTIM INTO GIVING HER MONEY FOR TWO ALLEGED WATCHES (ROLEX, YACHT-MASTER) TO BE USED IN ALLEGED RITUAL THAT VLADO ALLEGEDLY NEEDED TO PERFORM TO TURN BACK/RESET THE HANDS OF TIME/VICTIM'S LIFE
Vlado told the victim that the bloodlines of the victim's uncle and grandmother ran through the victim's bloodline and that Vlado needed to "cut the umbilical cord" so to speak to cut the victim from them.
Vlado told the victim that in order to "cut the umbilical cord"/"bloodline," Vlado needed to perform a ritual that involved a watch that could sustain the depths of a lake in Pennsylvania where an alleged “spiritual retreat” was going to be held.
Vlado said that it couldn’t just be any watch and that her other clients would bring her Cartier watches, etc., but she had to return them because of their motors. Vlado said that if the victim didn’t get her the watch, then all Vlado's “work” up to this point would have been for nothing and the victim would never be re-united with her ex-boyfriend.
The victim told Vlado that she was out of money. Vlado told the victim that she had a friend in Connecticut who had a Rolex watch that she needed to buy so that she could continue her “work.” Fearing that all the money that she had spent so far to be re-united with her ex-boyfriend had been for nothing, the victim agreed to give Vlado $5,500 as instructed so Vlado could get the watch and continue her “work.”
Vlado subsequently told the victim that she had gone to a "spiritual retreat" in Pennsylvania where there were seven hundred ladies that were assisting with the alleged "spiritual work" on behalf of the victim.
Vlado further stated that the Rolex watch's motor had failed when submerged into the lake as part of the ritual o Vlado's husband had purchased a mid-sized, 2003; gold, Yacht Master watch to replace the Rolex watch so that the “work” could continue.
Vlado told the victim that the victim owed her a balance of $4600 plus $552 tax (total $5,152) to replace the Rolex watch. The victim told Vlado that she should have called her and told the victim about the problem with the Rolex watch before having her husband go and buy another watch to continue the work without the victim's authorization.
Vlado told the victim that the Yacht Master watch had been submerged for five days and that they were waiting to see if there were any complications. Vlado said that over the next six weeks people would be diving every ten hours to check on it. Vlado said that she was going back to check on the watch and that after checking on it she would be able to tell the victim the exact dates of the victim's wedding and when the victim would be having her first baby with her ex-boyfriend.
Vlado reminded the victim that burying the Yacht Master watch was necessary to cut the bloodline from her father’s family (victim's uncle and grandmother) spiritually. Vlado conned the victim into believing that she had the ability to turn back/reset time in the victim's life by performing the watch ritual and that it was absolutely necessary to cut the bloodline so that the victim would not inherit her uncle and grandmother's issues (*Note-They were both hoarders).
VLADO CONNED THE VICTIM INTO GIVING HER PERSONAL ITEMS OF JEWELRY THAT ALLEGEDLY NEEDED TO BE "CLEANSED"
At one point, during the course of the crime, Vlado instructed the victim to collect any gold and silver scraps from her home that might contain “negative energy," especially if the items were given to the victim by her grandmother, and bring them to her.
Vlado told the victim that she needed to work on the jewelry to remove/”cleanse” any “negativity” that was associated with it and that she would return the items after they were “cleansed.” The victim subsequently brought Vlado a box of silver stud earrings and a gold charm that was given to her by her grandmother. The victim gave the jewelry to Vlado fully believing that Vlado would return it as promised, after it had been “cleansed.” Vlado never returned the jewelry as promised.
SUMMARY OF SOME OF THE EVENTS CONCERNING THE CASE
Betty Vlado engaged in a classic fortunetelling scheme to defraud the victim in this case.
Betty Vlado made numerous FALSE PROMISES to the victim to steal the victim’s money. A few of the false promises that Betty Vlado utilized to steal the victim’s money are as follows; Betty Vlado promised the victim that as a result of Vlado’s “spiritual work," the victim’s ex-boyfriend would propose to the victim on November 24, 2011.
The victim’s ex-boyfriend never proposed as promised. Betty Vlado promised the victim that as a result of Vlado’s “spiritual work” the victim would marry her ex-boyfriend on March 9, 2012. The victim never married her ex-boyfriend as promised.
In addition, Betty Vlado repeatedly assured the victim that if the “work” that she was allegedly performing failed or if the victim was “dissatisfied in any way at all” with the “work” that Vlado was allegedly performing, that she would return all of the victim’s money, at the asking. When the victim subsequently requested all her money back, Vlado failed to keep her promise, only returning a small portion of the money that she stole.
An integral part of Betty Vlado’s scheme involved using religious terminology such as, “I am doing God’s work," “I need to fight evil spirits," “I am meditating, praying, and fasting for you," “I am consulting with your spiritual guides," etc., to deceive the victim.
Whenever the victim questioned Vlado’s actions, Vlado just turned everything around, saying that the victim needed to trust her more and that the victim’s lack of faith was jeopardizing the “work” that she was allegedly performing on the victim’s behalf. Vlado asserted this just to manipulate the victim and make her feel bad. Betty Vlado purported herself to be a “woman of God” when all she really turned out to be was a “false prophet.”
Over the course of approximately two years, Vlado made numerous false representation to the victim. Vlado brainwashed the victim to the point where the victim made virtually no decisions in her life without first gaining Vlado’s approval.
The victim spent two years believing that Betty Vlado was a gifted psychic who was trying to help her and who always had her best interests at heart when the relationship that the victim actually had with Vlado was based upon nothing but deceit and lies. The emotional abuse Betty Vlado inflicted upon the victim was immeasurable and the financial devastation was substantial.