Did they see it coming? A fortune telling family located in NYC and Florida was busted yesterday and charged with swindling $40 million over the past 20 years from impressionable customers. According to the indictment, the Marks family has been convincing customers that "money is the root of all evil" while purging their marks of all their valuables. But hey, those $1.8 million in gold coins the family accumulated aren't going to just magically purge themselves of evil!
According to the 61-count indictment, which charges 10 Marks family members with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, the con artists told clients that "they and their family members or friends would contract terrible diseases, suffer horrible financial hardships, and endure terrible catastrophes, and that loved ones who were already sick would not recover, and that their lives would remain haunted by evil spirits if they did not cleanse their money of those evil spirits." They performed Tarot card readings, palm reading, astrology readings, numerology readings and spiritual readings to convince their victims of their predictions.
And with their ill-gotten gains, the indictments says they amassed many worldly possessions, including a Florida home, a yacht, over $1.8 million in gold coins, 14 cars (including four Mercedes Benz, a BMW, a Rolls Royce and a Bentley) and two Harley Davidson motorcycles. Federal agents, who called the investigation "Operation Crystal Ball", arrested Nancy Marks and Ricky Marks in NYC yesterday.
And it seems the fortune tellers were not above using a bit of cheese to sell their stories: Nancy, who lived on W58th Street, allegedly got a client to give her the partial cost of a Cartier watch, telling her she would use the timepiece to "turn back time and bring love back" into her life. This whole story reminds us that there's only one way to get your fortune told for free: