It looks like Florida is cracking down on fake psychic con men (or women, in this case). Last year they sent a woman to prison for three years for bilking clients out of $1.6 million; now they’ve charged another “psychic” with defrauding people of $25 million.
It started with a simple psychic reading for a famous author, then spiraled into a $25 million fraud operated by a South Florida family of fortune tellers for more than 20 years, federal prosecutors say.
Rose Marks and eight members of her family are accused of preying on vulnerable and gullible clients who walked into their storefront psychic businesses in upmarket neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale and New York City.
In her first public comments about the federal charges, Marks, 61, told the Sun Sentinel she did nothing wrong.
“I’m innocent,” Marks said. “I gave my life to these people — we’re talking about clients of 20 years, 30 years, 40 years. We’re not talking about someone I just met and took all their money and ran off.”
In Marks’ family, the paranormal was the norm, she said. She insists she has psychic abilities — “a gift from God” inherited by the women of her family for hundreds of years.
Marks calls it intuition or insight and explains it as the power to use parts of the brain most people can’t reach. Her first psychic vision was at age 9, she said, when she accurately predicted her grandmother’s sudden death. “It was scary,” she said.
Great. So let’s test that. This is an entirely testable claim. I’m sure the James Randi Educational Foundation would be happy to set up a scientifically valid test with proper safeguards and if you prove that you have those psychic powers, not only can you use that in your defense, you’ll get a million dollars too. We’ll be waiting.