Fake Florida psychic sentenced for stealing $1.6M to remove family curse

Fake Florida psychic sentenced for stealing $1.6M to remove family curse

Fake Florida psychic sentenced for stealing $1.6M to remove family curse

A Florida woman claiming to be psychic scammed a Texan out of US$1.6 million in a bid to rid the woman's family of a curse.

Investigators say Uwanawich first met the victim in 2007 in Houston, Texas, selling her services as a supposed healer.

Court records show that 28-year-old Sherry Tina Uwanawich was sentenced last week in Miami.

According to a statement published by the United States Attorney's Office of the Southern District of Florida, the defendant worked in Fort Lauderdale under the name Jacqueline Miller. Uwanawich reportedly blamed her mother's death on a witch's curse.

"Don't look down on the victim", he said.

The victim, a medical student, had been suffering from depression after her mother's death, The New York Times reported. Uwanawich claimed she needed large sums of money for crystals and candles to perform meditations that would lift the curse.

The student paid her with student loans, gift cards, clothing, a leased vehicle and borrowed money, according to the Chronicle.

The scheme ended in 2014 when Uwanawich admitted to the victim there had been no curse.

Bob Nygaard, a retired NY police officer and psychic fraud private investigator, told the paper confidence crimes that exploit a victim's fears are common across the country. She must also pay restitution.