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Florida Woman Must Pay $1.6 Million For Conjuring Up Phony Curse

Patch logo Patch 9/10/2019 Paul Scicchitano
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MIAMI, FL — With Halloween just around the corner, a 28-year-old Florida woman learned the hard way that it's not cool to conjure up phony curses on people.

Sherry Tina Uwanawich, also known as Jacqueline Miller, was sentenced to pay $1.6 million in restitution after convincing a woman whom she met in Houston that the woman and her entire family were living under a curse.

"The defendant claimed she needed large sums of money to purchase items, such as crystals, candles and the like, which were needed for meditation work in order to lift the curse," said federal prosecutors in Miami. "Failure to do so, the victim was led to believe, would result in harm to her and family."

The ruse continued for years, according to federal prosecutors, who said the woman carried on the scam from 2007 to 2014.

"The relationship between the victim and Uwanawich continued for years, even after the defendant had moved to South Florida, and during that time the victim was induced to give up approximately $1.6 million dollars," federal prosecutors said. "The scheme came to an end in early 2014, when Uwanawich admitted to the victim there had been no curse."

The sentence was announced Monday by U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan in Miami and Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI Miami Field Office.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger H. Stefin.

In addition to paying back the curse money, U.S. District Court Judge Rodolfo A. Ruiz also ordered Uwanawich to spend time in a federal prison after Uwanawich pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud.

Now she will have more than three years to think about the phony curse.

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