San Jose, CA- In a scam commonly known as the “Sweetheart Scam”, 48-year-old psychic named Shirley Stanley conned an elderly man out of nearly all of his life savings and scammed another woman out of a large sum of money by claiming that she would exorcise the spirit of a loved one. She was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison.
Santa Clara County Superior Court ruled Friday that Stanley was guilty of these charges, as well as of contracting without a license. Her 43-year-old husband (by common law) was also brought to justice for having pleaded guilty of selling concrete patios that are defective to unknowing victims. He received one year in county jail and then three years probation period after that.
Stanley met an elderly man in a San Jose Post Office parking lot back in 2007, and became friends with him, according to the District Attorney’s Office. She then pretended to be in love with him and the two got engaged. The whole time, she was conning him out of his money, at least $236,0000. She lied to him by telling him that her two kids needed costly operations, when really they were healthy. He gave her the $236,000 under the impression that it would save her kids’ lives. Prosecutors seized the money from her bank account and gave it back to the elderly man after she was found out.
Stanley conned a different woman, also from San Jose, into giving her $100,000 as well as expensive liquor. She told the woman that she could exorcise her dead boyfriends’ “evil spirit”. Stanley and Costello told the woman that the money would be used to help cure her current boyfriend’s drinking problem by being donated to a church. Only $43,000 of the woman’s retirement money has been returned to her so far since the couple was arrested. They have been ordered to pay the rest at a later time.
In 2008, Costello pretended to be a licensed contractor in order to steal $15,600 from two victims to whom he sold concrete that was knowingly defective. These two victims have been repaid since the arrest.
The arrest happened last summer when the brother of the “sweetheart scam” victim came forward to the police to report the suspicious activity.
I’m so glad that the police have been able to bring another scam artist to justice! This just proves that fake Psychics use mumbo jumbo like “evil spirits” and “curses” to separate you from your money
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