The next day, she told her family about the psychic. All told, Mahalanobis had handed over more than $130,000.


Sandy Williams nudged her car off West Glades Road in Boca Raton. Atop a beige strip of storefronts housing bath and flooring companies, the word "Psychic" was written in flashy script. Inside, Williams (who asked that her real name not be used) found a tall, 40ish, olive-skinned man in a suit and tie sitting on a couch.

"Come in, love," he purred.

It was September 2012, and Williams, a black-haired divorcée in her early 60s, had recently retired from teaching. Her father had also died. Unmoored, she was contemplating a move. A psychic might help her gauge her options.

The man introduced himself as "Trinity." Williams asked the price for a reading.

Eighty dollars.

The woman climbed back into her car, drove to an ATM, then returned with cash. Trinity next told Williams she needed to fetch a white rose to disperse negative energy. Again, the woman left and went to Publix.

She wasn't back long before Trinity dispatched her to the beach to fill half a bottle with ocean water. Back at his office, the psychic mixed oil into the bottle, then instructed Williams to shower with the solution in the shop's bathroom. Williams finally declined, halting the routine. But when she got home, she brought the oil into the shower.

The pair began meeting regularly, and the older woman stepped wherever Trinity pointed, like she was on autopilot. "I was numb to all of this that was going on," she says now. "I was doing something because he commanded [me] to do it."

On one visit, he sent her to the bank to withdraw $600. The psychic separated the bills into three stacks — for the past, present, and future — then tied red ribbons around each. Because money was the root of all evil, he commanded his client to take the cash home, place it in a white pillowcase, and throw pieces of paper with written phrases such as "free me" and "release me" inside.

Next, Trinity revealed that Williams' beloved dad was trapped in purgatory. The only way to spring him was through spiritual rituals. Although Williams had grown up in the Jewish faith — which doesn't even recognize the concept of purgatory — "it was comforting to know that I was going to help with getting him out," she says now. Over the next few months, Williams says, she funneled both large-scale bundles of cash and smaller increments in the form of gift cards.

In October, the pair drove to Boca's Town Center Mall. At Mayor's Jewelry, Trinity instructed Williams to purchase a $28,900 gold Rolex watch. By sacrificing it, they'd release her father. Trinity took the purchase home, telling Williams he'd either throw it in the sea or smash it with a hammer.

Williams worried that she was shoveling her life's savings to a bizarre stranger. When in Trinity's presence, however, the psychic dialed down her anxiety, always explaining that the pair was just about to "finish the work." But in October, Trinity delivered more bad news: She had cervical cancer. They must construct a gold shield inlaid with diamonds and rubies to keep Satan at bay.

By then, Williams estimates, she'd handed over more than $70,000. By mid-November, when she walked into the Boca Raton police station to file a report, she'd given the psychic another $70 grand. Williams was left with just $1,000.


In August 2009, 19-year-old Tamara Wilson (not her real name)stepped inside her shower and poured a jug of milk over her body.

A curvy woman with a rocky sea of stylish curls, she gave off a canny, no-bullshit attitude. Still, emotional doldrums were melting her down. She was living at home with her mother. After a string of bad grades, her college was close to pulling her financial aid. A hot-and-cold relationship was causing her heartache.

Also, she was wracked with body issues, wishing for one of the runway figures she watched parade through New York's fashion world — where she hoped to work one day. But those big life goals seemed to be pulling out of reach. "I was in a dark place in my life," she says. "When you're in a vulnerable state, you see everything as a possibility."

A search-engine cruise turned up the number for a free reading at truelovepsychic.com. A soft voice on the other end identified herself as Nadine. Wilson unloaded. The psychic detected a dark presence and felt Wilson's boyfriend was cheating. Rituals could help.

A skeptical Wilson demanded to meet the psychic in person. Nadine declined but said she could instead meet with a young psychic whom she'd personally trained.

At a house in Hollywood, Wilson met Hillarie, a 17-year-old blond cheerleader type draped in designer Seven jeans and Tory Burch sandals. The younger psychic channeled Nadine.

"You should already be in New York in fashion," she reported.

Those words were like a shot of heroin. Like beauty coaches and spiritual healers combined, the psychics promised to steer Wilson to her goal.

The initial consultation cost $400. As she handed over the money, a corner of Wilson's mind barked out in protest.

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22 comments
dontbefooled
dontbefooled

I've got a little test for any supposed psychics out there. This is open only to those that believe that they have psychic powers. 

I have written a random number down on a piece of paper. I am looking at the number right now. I will look at the number again from time to time. Simply channel my thoughts, and tell me the number. 


NayaAerodiode
NayaAerodiode

These fortune tellers are selling hope, and honestly, I'd rather them make the profit from their sales than any of the other purveyors of hope out there - that is, politicians and religious organizations.  At least the fortune tellers only scam the willing, and they only spend the money on cars and vacations, rather than the really destructive things that churches and political organizations do.  If a fool is going to be separated from his money, I'd rather it go to these guys than preachers.

wingedwolfpsion
wingedwolfpsion

Please don't refer to these people as psychics.  They are NOT psychic. They are frauds.  There are many legitimate people out there who are trying to use their abilities honestly.  You may not believe in them, but THEY believe in themselves, and do their best to represent their skills honestly.  (Here's a hint - no one legitimate tells you that you're cursed, and offers to lift it for additional money - they'd either offer to lift it for free, or wouldn't offer at all.  Plus, that sort of thing is pretty rare (depending on where you live).

Also, haven't the Roma been discriminated against enough, without being implicated, as a people, in things like this?  Discrimination against Roma in the US has been less severe than in many other places.  Fueling it is reprehensible.

gypsyhunter
gypsyhunter

sometimes people are in dire need of answers to the problems in their life. When someone is already in a vulnerable place, seeing a psychic for direction may seem like the last resort. Nobody goes to a psychic already knowing that they are cursed. Perhaps they should change their con to something different bc it seems like everyone that goes to them is somehow cursed. While some psychics are not fraudulent and may offer words of wisdom, others are in for the kill. The difference is that these fraudulent fortune tellers are selling false hope to vulnerable people, they are stealing money by false pretense. If what they are doing was not criminal, they would not be arrested and prosecuted. More and more people are stepping up to the plate and going after them. The majority of them chose to remain illiterate and not assimilate into American society. They should go back to where they came from. They truly are disgusting people. If you have not experienced it, DONT knock it!

gypsyhunter
gypsyhunter

sometimes people are in dire need of answers to the problems in their life. When someone is already in a vulnerable place, seeing a psychic for direction may seem like the last resort. Nobody goes to a psychic already knowing that they are cursed. Perhaps they should change their con to something different bc it seems like everyone that goes to them is somehow cursed. While some psychics are not fraudulent and may offer words of wisdom, others are in for the kill. The difference is that these fraudulent fortune tellers are selling false hope to vulnerable people, they are stealing money by false pretense. If what they are doing was not criminal, they would not be arrested and prosecuted. More and more people are stepping up to the plate and going after them. The majority of them chose to remain illiterate and not assimilate into American society. They should go back to where they came from. They truly are disgusting people. If you have not experienced it, DONT knock it!

gypsyhunter
gypsyhunter

sometimes people are in dire need of answers to the problems in their life. When someone is already in a vulnerable place, seeing a psychic for direction may seem like the last resort. Nobody goes to a psychic already knowing that they are cursed. Perhaps they should change their con to something different bc it seems like everyone that goes to them is somehow cursed. While some psychics are not fraudulent and may offer words of wisdom, others are in for the kill. The difference is that these fraudulent fortune tellers are selling false hope to vulnerable people, they are stealing money by false pretense. If what they are doing was not criminal, they would not be arrested and prosecuted. More and more people are stepping up to the plate and going after them. The majority of them chose to remain illiterate and not assimilate into American society. They should go back to where they came from. They truly are disgusting people. If you have not experienced it, DONT knock it!

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

People need to stop being gullible.  What these people did was truly horrific, but there are no laws that can prevent gullible people from giving money to these people.  Psychics do not exist.  If they did, do you think they would be working out of a crappy storefront or house?  

Apply logic.  If it does not make sense, dont take part.

dontbefooled
dontbefooled

@NayaAerodiode These fortune tellers are cleaning out the entire bank accounts of their gullible victims in short order. 

Religious organizations usually take a small portion of your money over time, not all at once. For that reason, I would say that the fortune tells are worse. 

It's a little harder to avoid the government completely, so I'll ignore that point.

I will agree that belief in nonsense, like you get from religion, could lead you to belief systems that will allow you to get fleeced by gypsies. 

Your best defense is to have a world view that comports as closely to reality as possible. 

gypsyhunter
gypsyhunter

@smdrpepper sometimes people are in dire need of answers to the problems in their life. When someone is already in a vulnerable place, seeing a psychic for direction may seem like the last resort. Nobody goes to a psychic already knowing that they are cursed. Perhaps they should change their con to something different bc it seems like everyone that goes to them is somehow cursed. While some psychics are not fraudulent and may offer words of wisdom, others are in for the kill. The difference is that these fraudulent fortune tellers are selling false hope to vulnerable people, they are stealing money by false pretense. If what they are doing was not criminal, they would not be arrested and prosecuted. More and more people are stepping up to the plate and going after them. The majority of them chose to remain illiterate and not assimilate into American society. They should go back to where they came from. They truly are disgusting people. If you have not experienced it, DONT knock it!

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

@gypsyhunter @smdrpepper Its still fake.  There are no psychics and never have been.  All of them are out to take advantage of those people who are gullible and seeking answers for things when they just cannot blame themselves.

Sorry, but ALL psychics are fake and con artists.

dontbefooled
dontbefooled

@wingedwolfpsion @dontbefooled 

Wrong again. You're just talking out your ass again. That's not the scientific method at all. You don't try to prove a negative. 

Psychic phenominon has not been PROVEN. It fails every time they attempt to demonstrate it in controlled scientific tests. That's why rational people discount it. If we believed in every wild assertion because it could not be disproven, we would believe a bunch of crazy stuff, as you appear to. And we would be in the right frame of mind to be ripped off like the poor souls in the stories above.

I'll be happy to change my belief system when new scientific evidence is presented. As for the rest of your screed, it's just more wild-ass conspiracy stuff to be discounted out of hand by rational people. 

wingedwolfpsion
wingedwolfpsion

@dontbefooled @wingedwolfpsion It's never been proven not to, either.  You confuse lack of proof with proof of lack - a common mistake among those who do not understand the scientific method, but are overly fond of their own belief system.  Any scientist would laugh at your statement (that things which are not proven can be discounted).  How incurious of you!  The reality is more complicated than you imagine it to be.  People with ability have far more to lose when proof comes, than they would have to gain.  The reaction of those who do not have ability would not be something any of us wants to see.  As a result, you will find few people with high level ability are willing to put themselves into a lab.  I would point out that our government is still using remote viewing, however.  They seem quite attached to top secret programs utilizing this ability which you discount...  Your confidence makes you the same as any other religious fanatic; make no mistake about that.

dontbefooled
dontbefooled

@wingedwolfpsion @dontbefooled 

Wrong! Psychic phenomenon has never been proven to exist. Until it is, it can be discounted entirely just like any other absurd claim that you want to pull out of your ass.


dontbefooled
dontbefooled

@wingedwolfpsion @smdrpepper @gypsyhunter 

THEY may believe in what they do. That does not change the fact that what they believe in is untrue. If you believe in things that are untrue, then you are a sucker. A sheep ready to be fleeced. 


TBPlayer
TBPlayer

@wingedwolfpsion @smdrpepper @gypsyhunter There may be some people who honestly believe they are "psychic," but if so, they are deluded.  They may not be as morally culpable as the knowing frauds (the vast majority of "psychics," IMHO), but they probably do as much damage.

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

@wingedwolfpsion @smdrpepper @gypsyhunter I agree, they believe in fleecing the gullible from their money.  Show me one bit of evidence that "psychic powers" exist and I will reconsider.  However, since there is no proof of any of these so called "psychics" have done anything but harm, any benefit they may have is purely a placebo.

 
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