We reported on this story earlier. Members Of Marks Family Plead Guilty To Stealing $25 Million In Fraudulent Psychic Scheme. The psychic on trial for advising her customers that she was gifted with psychic abilities and claimed 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:
- One count of conspiracy to commit mail/wire fraud.
- One count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
- Two counts of mail fraud.
- Two counts of money laundering.
- Six counts of wire fraud.
- Two 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, police immediately took her into custody. She now faces up to 20 years in prison. Marks had done business with several wealthy clients. They included a British lawyer, an accounting firm secretary, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, and highly acclaimed author Jude Deveraux.
They all testified against her in court. Her most famous client, Devereaux, said she sought advice from Marks, who went by Joyce Michaels, for about 17 years. She stated that she started seeing Marks hoping to get help with her problems, including the accidental death of her 8-year-old son, numerous miscarriages, and her abusive marriage.
Prosecutors Saw Past Marks’ Lies
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. However, getting her money back wasn’t the point of testifying against her.
“The whole thing was never about money. I just wanted justice and mainly to make Marks stop hurting other people. Maybe also to make her whole family stop this,” she said after the judge read the guilty verdict. She said 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 her work for all her clients, including Devereaux, was legal. She claims she earned the payments she received from them honestly or given to her as gifts or loans. Despite Devereaux never requesting the money back, prosecutors Larry Bardfeld and Roger Stefin ensure she gets it. They filed court paperwork to force Marks to return the $25 million to her victims.
However, Marks’ attorney, Fred Schwartz, plans to appeal because the investigators failed to record their conversations with Marks’ victims. He believes this constitutes government misconduct. He stated that Marks has no remaining assets and expects to die in federal prison if the appeal fails. Marks’ psychic companies were a family business; her two sons, her daughter, and their spouses were involved. They have all pleaded guilty to similar charges and will be sentenced later this year.