We reported on this story earlier, it can be read here.
The psychic who was on trial for advising her customers that she was gifted with psychic abilities and claimed to be able to fix all of their problems, Rose Marks, was found guilty this morning in federal criminal court. The jury found her guilty of all fourteen fraud charges; 1 count of conspiracy to commit mail/wire fraud, 1 count of conspiracy to commit money-laundering, 2 counts of mail fraud, 2 counts of money laundering, 6 counts of wire fraud, and 2 counts of filing false income tax returns.
62-year-old Marks operated two psychic businesses, one in New York City and the other in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Once the jury gave their “guilty” verdict, she was immediately taken into custody; she is now facing up to 20 years in prison.
Marks had done business with several wealthy clients, including a British lawyer, an accounting firm secretary, a U.S Naval academy graduate, and highly acclaimed author Jude Deveraux who all testified against her in court.
Devererux, the most famous of her clients, said she sought advice from Marks, who went by the name Joyce Michaels, for about 17 years. She stated that she started seeing Marks hoping to get help with problems she was having, which included the accidental death of her son Sam who was eight when he passed away, the number of miscarriages she had suffered, and an abusive marriage she was in.
The prosecutors accused Marks of orchestrating a plan to exploit the religious and spiritual beliefs of naïve and vulnerable people, refusing to return money to customers after she said she would, and laundering the corrupt money by having other people sign, cash, and deposit checks.
Devereux claimed that she lost close to $20 million to Marks, but that her point in testifying against her was not to obtain the money back.
“The whole thing was never about money. I just wanted justice and mainly to make her stop hurting other people and maybe to make her whole family stop this,” she said after the guilty verdict was given.
She said that the “number one warning sign” is if a psychic or fortuneteller asks you to keep things secret and never discuss the conversations with anyone.
Marks never believed she was guilty, arguing that the work she did for all her clients, including Devereaux, was completely legal and that the payments she received from them were earned honestly, or they were given to her by her clients as gifts or loans.
Even though Devereaux never requested the money back, prosecutors Larry Bardfeld and Roger Stefin filed court paperwork that will force Marks to return the $25 million back to her victims.
However, Marks’ attorney, Fred Schwartz, plans to appeal because the investigators failed to record the conversations they had with Marks’ victims, which constitutes government misconduct. He stated that Marks has no assets remaining and expects to die in federal prison if the appeal is not successful.
The psychic companies that Marks had were a family business and her two sons, her daughter, and all of their spouses were involved. They have all pleaded guilty to similar charges and their sentencing is set for later this year.
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