A self-proclaimed psychic from the Upper East Side was arrested this past weekend after she allegedly scammed a distraught woman out of more than $60,000. The ‘fortune-teller’ convinced the woman by manipulating and terrifying her and even made her believe that she had an evil demon spirit inside of her. She convinced her that this spirit was actually a dead baby that her (the victims’) mother had miscarried prior to the victims’ birth. She told her that increasingly expensive “demon removal work” would be the only way to remove it from her body.
The 35-year-old victim began seeing Victoria Nicholes, who went by “Psychic Lisa”, in September of 2013. She went to her because she was going through marriage problems at that time. 39-year-old Nicholes allegedly convinced the victim that if she did not pay to have the spirit removed through the demon removal work then her husband was going to leave her for a younger woman whom the victim already suspected him of having an affair with. She also told her that if she doesn’t have the demon removed then she would never again be able to keep a romantic relationship for the rest of her life.
Bob Nygaard is a private investigator with lots of experience dealing in psychic fraud cases. According to him, Nicholes told the victim that what she was doing was “God’s work” and that she had to perform other rituals after the demon removal work at the altar of a mysterious church which the victim was not allowed to visit or see.
Nicholes allegedly first told the victim she would need $33,000 in cash, $1,000 for each year the victim has been alive, and that this would pay for special crystals and candles needed for the cleansing ceremony. She then allegedly asked the victim to buy her a Rolex Daytona Everose watch with a black dial that was worth $30,000 because she would need it as part of a ritual that would “spring back time” to before the victim was born and that would allow her to remove the spirit demon.
The scamming psychic also told the victim that none of the demon removal work would be successful if she told anyone about it.
The money draining didn’t stop after the ceremony, which also happened to involve white bed sheets and urine from the victim. She told the woman that the ceremony worked and that the demon was removed but that now in an extra precaution to “renew her marriage” she needed to buy the psychic a $2,400 tuxedo.
Once the victim realized what was happening and got fed up trying to get her money back from Nicholes, she decided to hire Nygaard. She needed to build a criminal case against her so they used two operatives to carry out undercover stings. They ended up catching Nicholes directly soliciting and receiving money from both of them, allegedly. The operatives described the phony psychic as “claiming and pretending to tell fortunes, and holding herself out as being able, by claimed or pretended use of occult powers.”
Police arrested Nicholes outside of her parlor at 880 Lexington Ave this past Sunday. According to police, she has been charged with grand larceny, scheming to defraud, and fortunetelling. She is also being accused of scamming over $62,000 from the victim via deceitful tactics.
Nicholes had already been arrested previously in June of this year for grand larceny. She was accused of working with a Bloomingdale’s employee to get store credit for unreturned items.