Hingham, MA- Teresa Nicholas, the second suspect in the Hingham “psychic reading scam,” has turned herself in.
She and Tiffany Crystal Smith, who calls herself “Psychic Sofie,” are guilty of conning over $7,000 from an unsuspecting victim. The victim was a 69-year-old woman from Pembroke, Massachusetts.
After arresting Smith, the police began searching for Nicholas. They had been searching for her for over two weeks when she decided to turn herself in. She arrived at the Hingham Police Station and announced herself.
She sat at Hingham Jail until they took her to the Hingham District Court. Here she was declared guilty of “larceny over $250 and conspiracy”. According to police, she posted $500 bail and was released but must return to court on June 22.
It appears that Nicholas decided to turn herself in after Hingham Detectives contacted her lawyer. Police had a New York address for Nicholas but they knew she was always in Hingham and the surrounding cities.
While searching for her, police showed surveillance photos of Nicholas to the public and media. These photos captured Nicholas cashing the victim’s check.
Police knew that Nicholas was an accomplice in Smith’s theft of the $7,000, and the search for her began.
According to police, Smith conned the victim by using scare tactics. She convinced the woman that her daughter had a curse on her. She frightened her by telling her that her daughter would kill herself if she didn’t pay her $16,000.
Smith pulled several tricks during the woman’s sessions to try and convince her to go forth with “cleansing.” At one point, she purposely dropped a bag and red liquid that spilled out of it. She told the woman that it was her daughter’s blood.
She then asked the woman, “Isn’t your daughter worth more than $16,000?”
The police report states that the victim fell for it because she was stressed out and concerned for her daughter.
Aside from a couple of checks totaling over $7,000, the woman gave Smith an opal ring. This ring was an antique and is worth more than $500. This payment left the remaining balance of the “cleansing” at about $9,000.
Smith told the woman she could pay it with a credit card, by borrowing money from friends and family, or by selling her personal items. Perhaps in an attempt to borrow the money from them, she told a family member about the situation.
This family member then contacted the police without hesitation. After receiving this information, the police arrived at the psychic business and found Smith. Upon questioning, Smith completely denied ever meeting the victim.
The police report states that Smith even denied living in the building. She told them that she lived in Dorchester and that the building was just where she conducts business. She insisted on this even after police saw people there wearing pajamas.
When police asked Smith about the other employee, she told them that she could not reach her. She told police the employee didn’t own a cell phone but would return in an hour. This person turned out to be Nicholas.
The court charged Smith with two counts of “larceny over $250”, “larceny over $250 by false pretenses”, and “larceny from a person over 65 and conspiracy”.