Psychics make big promises. Here is just one example:

All the questions that you’re longing to find the answers to are now just a Reading away.Want to know when you’ll find love? Just ask. Want to know which way your career is heading? Just say the word. Want to know what opportunities are around the corner for you? Just go ahead and find out.

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The Circle is the UK’s most trusted Psychic Reading service, and for very good reason. Since 1997 we’ve performed millions of Readings and have helped many customers like you on their life journey.

How come then that a psychic could not predict the following?

The US Attorney’s Office has announced that Michael Paul Guzman, 42, was sentenced to 38 months in prison, and Samantha Stevens, 51, was sentenced to 30 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Darrin P. Gayles for orchestrating a fortune-telling fraud scheme and money laundering.

According to court documents, Stevens was portraying herself as a psychic/fortune teller in 2012 when she met a victim in Miami. Stevens gained the victim’s trust and convinced her that a curse had been placed on her and her family. Stevens claimed she needed to perform rituals on large sums of money in order to lift the curse. Failure to do so—the victim was led to believe—would result in harm to her and her family.

Stevens and Guzman spent the victim’s money on vehicles, property, and casino gambling. The relationship between Stevens and the victim lasted several years. During this time, the victim was persuaded to give up more than $3 million. The scheme came to an end in 2016 when Stevens cut off communication with the victim after she no longer could pay for the rituals. Once Stevens severed the relationship, the victim contacted federal law enforcement.

Stevens argued in court that the ceremonies she performed were an expression of her religion and the client “received exactly what she bargained for.”


This is not the first time self-proclaimed psychics have been sentenced to prison in Florida. In 2020, a woman and her daughter were sentenced for “defrauding two victims with their spiritual scams” and in 2019, a woman was reportedly sentenced to more than three years in prison for a “fortune telling” fraud scheme.  In 2014, a South Florida woman who claimed to be a psychic with the ability to positively influence terminal cancer was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison.

4 Responses to A psychic should have seen this coming (don’t tell me that psychics are fakes!)

  • I am not sure what the crime here actually is.
    Many (some say all) religions make similar claims.
    “Messages from angels…ability to perform miracles…prayer will have a recognisable effect etc.”
    These are all tolerated.
    And just where does the money they collect go?
    As Sir Christopher Wren said: “Look around you.”

    So I suppose this ‘psychic’ (surely, all are ‘self-proclaimed’) is guilty of not having created an effective enough smoke screen or account. (Well done, L. Ron Hubbard, Saul of Tarsus, Moses et al.)
    Ho hum.

  • In the spirit of satire, I submit:

    I don’t mean to be rude or discourteous, but before we begin, I’d just like to say there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support clairvoyance of any kind. Which means, and again, no insult intended, that you’re a fraud, your profession is a swindle and your livelihood is dependent on the gullibility of stupid people. Again, no offense.

    — Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory – The Anything Can Happen Recurrence (2014)

    CLAIRVOYANT, n. A person, commonly a woman, who has the power of seeing that which is invisible to her patron — namely, that he is a blockhead.

    — The Devil’s Dictionary

    There are people who pretend, quite wrongly, that dead people can speak. Which they can’t. They’re dead.

    They won’t talk to you, they’re dead.

    But there are people, a class of fraud, and I’m saying this directly into camera, you are a fraud. If you are a medium, you are fraudulent, and…

    — Stephen Fry before being cut off by rapturous applause, QI: Kit and Kaboodle

  • Dr. Benjamin Radford relates that, in November 2016, a New York psychic was arrested for defrauding a woman into believing that her marital problems were due to the possession of an evil spirit that needed to be exorcised. The psychic charged thirty-three thousand dollars in cash (one thousand dollars for each year of the victim’s age) and a Rolex Daytona Everose watch valued at thirty thousand dollars, which would be used in a ritual capable of “turning back time”.

  • The Kardesian medium João Teixeira de Faria, alias João de Deus (John of God), was neither scientific nor religious; he was a cunning and well-organized swindler. It claimed to incorporate the spirits of King Solomon, St. Ignatius of Loyola, the German physician Dr. Fritz, and the Brazilian physicians Bezerra de Menezes and Oswaldo Cruz. De Faria performed “psychic surgeries” to cure all kinds of diseases. For this intrusion (posing as a doctor), he came to be persecuted by the Brazilian justice since 1980, but without success. He attended personalities such as Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva, Dilma Rousseff, Michel Temer, Bill Clinton, Hugo Chávez, Wayne Dyer, Ophra Winfrey, Paul Simon, Naomi Campbell and Shirley MacLaine. The medium practiced “spiritual medicine” until 2018, when he was accused of raping 323 women since 1973, one of whom was his daughter, Dalva Teixeira. The Public Ministry accused him of ideological falsehood, witness corruption, money laundering, concealment of a corpse and illegal possession of firearms. In 2019 he was sentenced to 19 years in prison. In 2021, the justice of the state of Goiás increased the sentence to 44 years in prison. Considering that spiritual mediums often receive privileged information from the afterlife, some wonder: why didn’t the spirits warn them that João de Deus, in addition to being a charlatan, was a sexual predator?

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