Feds: 'Psychic' Family Scammed $40M
Claimed they spoke to God, made a fortune
By Tim Karan,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2011 1:44 PM CDT
A Florida family is accused of running a psychic business that scammed $40 million out of clients.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – If only they were real psychics, maybe they would have seen this coming. A Florida family has been indicted for running a psychic advice business that scammed clients out of $40 million over two decades, reports the Miami Herald. In "Operation Crystal Ball," federal prosecutors charged 10 people in Fort Lauderdale and New York with 61 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering—each with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Members of the family business used a variety of tricks on patrons, and often cited a "gift from God" and an open line of communication with Michael the Archangel. According to testimony from unnamed victims, the family would commonly ask for large sums of money as a temporary "sacrifice" that would be returned when their prayers were answered. One defendant allegedly had a client buy her an expensive watch so she could "turn back time and bring back love" to the woman. Among the items authorities seized: a Fort Lauderdale home, almost $2 million in gold coins, and about a dozen expensive cars.