A WOMAN who claimed she could cure “curses” and cast love spells is facing six years behind bars after scamming vulnerable clients out of more than $430,000.
Self-proclaimed psychic Gina Marie Marks, who went by the name Natalie Miller during readings with clients, pleaded guilty last week to multiple counts of felony theft.
Ms Marks, from Maryland in the US, scammed five customers over the course of two years.
The police investigation began in May 2016 when a 26-year-old woman contacted “Natalie” after she discovered her partner was secretly married to another woman.
She was told the “psychic” could solve her relationship woes by casting love spells — but that she would need a great deal of money to pull it off.
The victim met “Natalie” at several shops and handed over her credit card.
After taking more than $100,000 in cash and purchases, the woman finally grew suspicious and contacted both police and a private investigator after asking for her money back.
The other four victims were told Ms Marks could cure them of curses.
In 2014 one woman was told she would be refunded her fee once the curse was lifted — but she never got her $3377 back.
Ms Marks said she would repay her victims, but insisted she was a legitimate psychic.
According to NBC Washington, as she left the court with her husband wearing a black coat over her head, she told reporters she was the real victim and that the authorities were “racist” against gypsies.
“People are racist from gypsies,” she said.
“They’re racist on my culture. We do have power. We’re not allowed to talk about it.”
Ms Marks made no secret of her windfalls, posting pictures of herself on social media flashing pricey jewellery and clothing.
But her scam unravelled when a private investigator hired by a lovesick victim caught her at Miami International Airport, where she was arrested before she had the chance to flee the country.
Ms Marks will be sentenced in August and could serve up to six years behind bars.
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