An international “psychic” mail fraud ring that’s been operating for years has been shut down by US authorities this month. Investigators linked this fraudulent scheme to various international companies, including a Hong Kong company that scammed more than a million American citizens out of over $180 million US dollars.
Destiny Research Center Limited is the local firm responsible for this in Hong Kong. Hong Kong police state they’ve never received any complaints about them or the scam from locals. On May 9th, 2016, an Eastern District of New York federal judge approved a consent decree.
This decree permanently banned eight parties, including Destiny Research Center and its president, Martin Dettling of Zurich, 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. They sent over 56 million letters to victims through the US mail system. They were all supposedly written by two French psychics, a male named Patrick Guerin and a woman named Maria Duval.
How They Lied To Victims
The letters held “predictions” of how the recipients would become rich by different means. One of them was that they would win a lottery jackpot if they purchased their services and products. This purchase would supposedly secure them good luck. For example, one of the letters stated that Guerin and Duval had “clear visions” of how the recipients would have “massive sums of money.”
They would win this money by playing “games of chance” if they just purchased a copy of the book “My Invaluable Guide to My New Life” 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 the 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 90s. In 2000 the United Kingdom shut them down, and New Zealand shut them down in 2005. The United States finally caught and shut them down, protecting American citizens from this horrible scam.