FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.- Vivian Marks, a Fort Lauderdale fortuneteller who was charged in a psychic fraud scam, won a federal judge’s approval on Friday that will allow her to seek work with an online psychic service company.
Last year, 22-year-old Marks, as well as eight family members were charged with running a multi-million dollar fraud and a judge had banned them from being able to work as spiritual guides and/or psychics.
However, U.S. Magistrate Judge James Hopkins felt that the online company that hires Marks had sufficient safeguards in place that would ensure that Marks does not engage in any fraudulent activity and he also felt that it would be constructive for her to engage in “lawful employment” while working toward an online GED.
Upon exiting the court, Marks told reporters that the judge’s decision had relieved her. “Yes, this gives me an opportunity” she stated.
Following her arrest in August of 2011, Marks was incarcerated for several weeks and sentenced to house arrest afterwards.
Other than being employed at Sage Restaurant as a hostess for a short period of time, Marks has not been able to find employment, mostly due to having no more than a third grade education. She also lacks any work skills besides her “God-given talent of fortune telling” her defense attorney Edward Reagan said.
When requesting permission for Marks to apply for a job as a “spiritual adviser and/or fortune teller” with an online psychic service that provides “advice and professional consulting services”, Reagan compared Marks’ situation to that of children of firefighters who follow in their parents’ footsteps and become firefighters as well.
“Children of fortune tellers become the same thing that their parents are” Reagan said. “This is a long tradition that the family has.”
Although it is not against the law to tell fortunes, the prosecutors did not feel that Marks should be allowed to work in the spiritual field.
“By letting her get back into the business, “ Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurence Bardfeld argued, “I think we run into a slippery slope… I just don’t want them to have any opportunities to commit that type of fraud again.”
Reagan argued that psychic services have sufficient “levels of protection” since the online company records and monitors all calls between clients and psychics, they are not allowed to communicate with clients offline, and all payments would be credit card payments that are handled solely through the company.
“I’m convinced that this situation that has been proposed does offer an opportunity for the defendant to engage in lawful employment while still minimizing the ability to engage in [fraudulent] activity,” Judge Hopkins ruled.
Prosecutors argued that Marks and several of her family members defrauded clients, including highly famed author Jude Deveraux, out of millions of dollars by telling them that they were able to predict the future as well as clear curses. The reason Marks and her family’s scam was discovered was because clients were promised that their money would be returned to them if they were not satisfied with the services but then refusing to comply when asked, prosecutors stated.
Regarding these charges, all nine accused members of the family have pleaded “not guilty”.
This is proof that using a Psychic network is much much safer than visiting Independent psychics. Even a Federal Judge feels that Psychic services prevents Psychics from committing fraud.
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