$180 Million Maria Duval International ‘Psychic’ Mail Fraud Linked To Hong Kong Firm Finally Shut Down By United States
An international “psychic” mail fraud ring that has been operating for years has finally been shut down by US Authorities this month. This fraudulent scheme was linked to various international companies, including a Hong Kong company that scammed more than a million American citizens out of over $180 million US dollars.
The local firm responsible for this in Hong Kong is called Destiny Research Center Limited and it is understood that the police in Hong Kong have never received any complaints about them or the scam from any locals.
On May 9th, 2016, an Eastern District of New York federal judge approved a consent decree that permanently banned eight parties, Destiny Research Center and its president, Martin Dettling of Zurich included, from being able to send promotional materials, ads, and solicitations from clairvoyants, astrologers, and self-proclaimed psychics through the US mail system.
Allegedly, the defendants preyed on the superstitions of vulnerable Americans since 2000. Over 56 million letters were sent to them via the US mail system and they were all supposedly written by two French psychics, a male named Patrick Guerin and a woman named Maria Duval. The letters held “predictions” of how the recipients would become rich by different means, such as winning a lottery jackpot, if the recipient purchased services and products from them. This would supposedly secure them good luck.
For example, one of the letters stated that Guerin and Duval both had “clear visions” of how the recipients would have “massive sums of money” given to them through playing “games of chance” if they just purchased a copy of “My Invaluable Guide to My New Life” book and a “mysterious talisman” for fifty US dollars.
“This widespread scam targeted more than one million Americans, many of whom were elderly or in financial distress,” said head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, Benjamin C. Mizer.
The department didn’t specifically clarify the role of the Hong Kong firm established in 2010 by Dettling.
“The records of this firm have been clean. We did not receive any reports related to psychic mail scams but will keep a close eye on it,” said a police source.
This psychic mail fraud ring has been active internationally since the 90’s. In 2000 the United Kingdom shut them down and New Zealand shut them down in 2005. The United States is finally caught up in getting them shut down and protecting American citizens from this horrible scam.