Law enforcement officials
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
The “gypsy swindler” Gina Marks is facing criminal charges again after allegedly conning a South Florida woman out of almost $300,000.
According to the Miami Herald, the victim fell for Marks’ assertion that the victim was cursed and needed Marks’ supernatural powers to achieve a spiritual transfusion, ridding her of the evil spirits surrounding her. Giving Marks hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and expensive gifts was also apparently a necessary component of her spiritual healing. Marks was arrested by the Broward Sheriff’s Office and is currently being held without bond.
Under the name “Regina Milbourne,” Marks co-authored a 2006 book called Miami Psychic: Confessions of a Confidante. One reviewer posted on Amazon, “This author is a fake psychic and everyone is aware of this. The publishers didn’t even know that Regina Milbourne isn’t her real name.” Another reviewer wrote, “the subject matter was more about what I perceive to be immoral activity than psychic abilities.”
Last year, Gina Marks returned $54,000 to five victims who had sought spiritual help from her. She had urged them to give her large amounts of money, assuring them the money would be “cleansed” and returned to them with more positive energy. She was placed on 18-month probation (ending November 2010) after pleading guilty to felony fraud charges.
A website devoted to Gypsy Psychic/Spiritualist scams claims there are more than 750 gypsies in a law enforcement database. They offer information to prevent being victimized, as well as an opportunity for victims to post their own experiences anonymously.
Below is a video detailing a similar scam that took place in California.