Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 6:58 a.m.
There's a small psychic shop on SW Fourth Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, just south of the bridge. If you drove by on Sunday, you may have seen a banner across the front door, reading:
Persons who have given this psychic money, before March 2012, you have been defrauded. Would you like your money back?
What the hell is going on? We called up to find out.
"The lady was doing fraud over here, and so we put up a sign," said Dewey Evans, reached at the Houston-area cell phone number.
What kind of fraud? Well, Evans says that the previous owner sold the business to him and his nephew Mitchell for $10,000, to continue running it as a psychic shop. He says he later found out three months' rent was owed on the space, and that the building was in foreclosure.
That last bit we can verify: a Deutsche Bank trust is listed as the owner in county property records. The phone number written on the door leads to "Psychic Ava
," who appears to still be doing business online and over the phone. Evans claims someone -- though he didn't have exact names -- knowingly sold him the business without informing him of the back rent or the foreclosure. Both would seemingly be fairly easy to identify before buying a business.
Ava had not called us to comment by the time we published this, so we'll reach out to her this morning.
Update 11:41 a.m.: It gets weirder. The number for "Psychic Ava" led to a woman -- who did not confirm or deny that she was Ava -- who says she was part of the party buying the business from the previous owners, and that she is going through a divorce from the new owner and doesn't have much information. "Good luck tracking them down," she says of the former tenants.
"If they ripped off us, I'm sure they ripped off other people," says Evans. So he had the banner printed, and hung it up on Sunday.
He says he's not looking for complaints to build a civil suit, but for criminal charges.
Some might argue that all psychics are kind of... frauds. Evans says no. "They're supposed to be a counselor for people who have problems. To calm them down, like a psychologist."
More updates on Psychic vs. Psychic as we have them.
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