Christine Evans is a self-proclaimed “psychic” who runs a fortune-telling business in New York City — at least, she did, until Sunday.
According to a criminal complaint, a 23-year-old woman, whose name has not been released, visited the parlor, reeled in by a flier that promised to answer truthfully any two questions that she wanted. The complaint went on to say that after a tarot card reading, Ms. Evans said she had bad news. The bad news was that the woman’s mother had been cursed and that the curse had been passed down to the woman. Ms. Evans instructed the woman to go to a nearby store and purchase a $300 Visa gift card so that she could get to work cleansing her spirit from the curse. The woman complied.
As the New York Times reports, when the woman returned the next day, she was told by the fortune-teller that a decorative water fountain made of “natural slate and copper,” through which water would intermittently flow, needed to be purchased. The woman was told that it would cost $399.39 to be shipped overnight. She paid for it.
According to a private investigator, Bob Nygaard, the woman also bought Ms. Evans two $500 Visa cards. Evans went on tell the woman that she needed to buy 23 candles, each stick representing a year in the woman’s life. Each candlestick cost $600, according to the complaint she eventually lodged with the NYPD.
The woman at this point sensed she was being fleeced for money and asked for her money to be reimbursed. She managed to haul the water fountain with the assistance of a passing stranger back to the company and got a partial refund.
Midtown South precinct detectives arrested Evans Sunday evening outside the New York fortune parlor. She was charged with fraud, fortune-telling, and petty larceny. She was released on bail Monday.
Her lawyer, Jeffrey Cylkowski, said his client denies all the charges leveled against her.
Ms. Evans gave an apartment on West 49th Street as her place of residence. A neon sign in front of the apartment, etched out in bold lettering, said “Psychic Readings.” A reporter who visited the place said a woman named Tina had answered and asked her, “Do you want a reading?” When the woman was queried about Ms. Evans, the fortune-teller said she had never heard of her and only moved in seven days before.
As it turns out, claiming to be “psychic” and fleecing vulnerable people out of money appears to be a family business for Ms. Evans. Her daughter-in-law, Priscilla Kelly Delmaro, spent seven months in jail after scamming an entrepreneur, Niall Rice. The New York man had consulted the psychic about helping him to repair a relationship with a woman he had met in a drug rehabilitation facility in Arizona. Delmaro had promised a reincarnated reunion with Michelle in another woman’s body. Rice spent a total of $713,975 in 20 months trying to make it happen.
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The allegations leveled against Ms. Evans hardly come close to what her daughter-in-law did. Delmaro had told Rice that he was being kept away from his “twin flame” by negative forces. She had claimed that spirits talked to her, and even when Rice had found out that Michelle had died of a drug overdose, Delmaro still convinced him that she could be reincarnated in the body of a 31-year-old.
Rice had made multiple payments, including $80,000 for the building of an 80-mile “bridge” to entrap the negative spirits from another realm, a $30,000 Rolex watch to wash away the sins of his past, and $40,064 for a Tiffany diamond ring to “preserve his energy.” Rice lost his apartment, put his car up for sale, and borrowed money from friends and family before eventually going to the police and pressing charges. Delmaro pleaded guilty to grand larceny and spent seven months in jail, but the charges were dropped because Rice slept with Delmaro during the course of his psychic readings.
Are you shocked that a person could be fleeced by a so-called “psychic”?
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