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Fake psychic jailed after conning woman out of $1.6m to lift 'curse'

Sky News logo Sky News 4 days ago

a person holding a birthday cake with lit candles: The alleged psychic gained the victim's trust and told her a curse had been placed on her family.  File pic. © Other The alleged psychic gained the victim's trust and told her a curse had been placed on her family. File pic. A woman who claimed to be a fortune teller has been jailed for conning a family into giving her $1.6m (£1.3m) to lift a family curse.

Sherry Tina Uwanawich, who also goes by the name Jacqueline Miller, was a teenager when she met the victim at the Galleria shopping centre in Houston, Texas, in 2007.

The 28-year-old struck up a conversation with the woman and learned she was a medical student from Brazil and was suffering from depression, having recently lost her mother, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Uwanawich managed to convince the woman to have her fortune read and told her she would be able to find out the cause of her unhappiness.

The alleged psychic gained the victim's trust and told her a curse had been placed on her family by a witch in South America.

Gallery: 10 signs you're getting scammed while shopping online (Cheapism)

Their friendship lasted seven years, during which Uwanawich asked the woman for large sums of money so she could buy items like crystals and candles to perform meditations to remove the curse.

The cash reportedly included student loans the woman had obtained, plus hundreds of thousands of dollars from her inheritance following the death of her father.

Even after Uwanawich moved to Fort Lauderdale on Florida's southeastern coast in 2008, the transfer of funds continued.

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

Uwanawich previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced to three years and four months in prison last week in Miami. She was also ordered to pay compensation to the victim.

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Gallery: The 11 most sophisticated online scams right now that the average person falls for (Business Insider)

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