23-year-old Stephanie Thompson, who also goes by Stephanie Lee, from Lighthouse Point, Florida, has been accused of stealing about $115,000 from a customer to “remove a curse.” Instead of using the stolen money to remove the curse, as she made the victim believe, Thompson gambled most of it away at a casino.
She was arrested on November 12th and charged with organized fraud and grand theft. The arrest happened a year after the victim reported her to Boca Raton Police, and the investigation into her began. The 30-year-old female victim told police that in September of 2012, Thompson persuaded her to give her more than $115,000. She told her that she would return $90,000 of that. This payment was so that Thompson could remove a curse from the victim and her money.
The woman told police that Thompson convinced her she had to give all her money so she could cleanse it. The money Thompson took from the victim was left to her by her mother. The woman told police that from May to August of 2012, Thompson would accompany her to different bank branches. They would withdraw large cash amounts in small batches so the banks would not get suspicious.
According to the victim, Thompson repeatedly warned her not to tell anyone about what they were doing. She made her think that if she talked, all her work would be “erased.” “Thompson told her that she could get the same cancer as her mother if she didn’t go through with it. The victim stated she believed her,” stated Officer Karl Leonard in his police report.
The Scammer Gets Caught Red-Handed
Last year the victim’s phone rang while she told a police officer the whole story. It was Thompson, and the woman answered. They made a plan to meet at a CVS parking lot. According to the report, the officer taking the victim’s story went with her to meet Thompson. Once there, he confronted her in person. When asked about the money, Thompson said she no longer had it because she gambled it away at a casino.
The victim ended up losing about $109,700 to Thompson. At a meeting with the Boca Raton Police Department in October 2012, Alison Gilman, Thompson’s attorney, told authorities that Thompson was “unable to resolve this issue.” Officer Sandra Boonenberg told ABC News that a warrant was issued for Thompson’s arrest shortly afterward.
According to authorities, Thompson was arrested on a Tuesday and posted a $40,000 bond to get out by the following day. Kathy Burstein is a spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Clerk and Controller’s Office. She told ABC News that a date had not been set yet for Thompson’s next court hearing.
Attempts to reach Thompson, her attorney Gilman, and the victim were unsuccessful. “We’ve had some other reported incidents with psychics and stuff like this, but we don’t have any other cases against this particular defendant,” said Boonenberg. “I don’t believe we have any other psychic-related cases at this point.”