For over 20 years, self-declared psychics Rose Marks and her family made $40 million from their fortune-telling business. Unfortunately they didn’t predict this.
The 60-year-old clairvoyant and eight members of her family are between them facing up to 1,220 years in jail for fraud and money-laundering following their arrest.
Prosecutors allege that the family, who ran a chain of fortune-telling businesses across south Florida, took advantage of desperate clients who came to them for help with troubles ranging from failing marriages to terminal illness.
They tricked clients out of their life savings by convincing them that “in order to excise a curse or evil spirits and the illnesses they caused, the clients had to temporarily give large sums of money so they could cleanse the money of the curse or evil spirits,” according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
Customers were told if they failed to consent, “terrible catastrophes” would befall them, such as hauntings, physical suffering and – in the one prophecy that came true – financial hardship.
When police seized the family’s estate, it included an ocean-front mansion, $1.8 million worth of gold coins and 20 vehicles including a Bentley convertible, a Rolls-Royce and Harley-Davidson motorbikes.