Issaquah, WA. – Psychic Paula Ann Adams of Issaquah pleaded “not guilty” on May 30th to charges of felony theft. Adams is being accused of scamming almost $30,000 from a single customer.
Prosecutors in King County allege that Adams convinced one of her customers to give her Nordstrom gift cards worth thousands of dollars along with $24,000 in cash. Surveillance cameras show Adams spending these gift cards just hours after she acquired them from the victim.
The charging papers state that 36-year-old Adams played a very common trick on the customer who came to her in search of spiritual guidance.
The scam is as follows: First a vulnerable and naïve victim seeks the assistance of a psychic fortune-teller because they are experiencing relationship problems.
Once they find a palm reader, if they are fraudulent, then they will charge a reasonable fee for the first session, but then the scheming psychics proceed to advise the victim that the root of all of their problems is the fact that their money is dirty and needs to be “cleansed”.
The victim, who believes the con artist is simply trying to help them, then usually withdraws their money from their bank accounts and hands their money over to the fake psychic. The psychic takes it and performs a series of rituals and cleansings to the money to rid it of evil energy. This money is always handed over to the psychic under the impression that it will be returned to them once the process is complete but the fraudulent psychics never give it back to the victim.
In February of 2013 Adams victim reported her to the Bellevue police for scamming her out of $29,000 and police began investigating her at that time.
The woman told the police that she was in the middle of getting divorced and was looking for guidance of the spiritual kind when she decided to stop in at Adam’s psychic shop located on Front Street in Issaquah for an initial reading.
The charging papers state that this woman went to Adams’ shop a total of 12 times and paid her hundreds of dollars each time. She even brought her $25,000 in cash and Nordstrom gift cards that totaled about $4,000 so that Adams can cleanse it.
Once investigators began looking into Adams, they discovered that she did not waste any time in cashing in the gift cards that she was supposed to cleanse; she went on a massive shopping spree only a few days after receiving the cards and spent six of the eight cards that were valued at $500 each the same night that they were entrusted to her.
The woman became suspicious of Adams and sent her several text messages demanding that she give her back her money and gift cards but they went all went unanswered. Investigators began examining Adams undercover.
After the investigation was over, they had enough information to charge her with one count of first-degree theft and five counts of second-degree theft, to which Adams pleaded not guilty to any of them on June 30th at the King County Superior Court.
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