Another ‘Psychic’ Charged With Fraud

In what is clearly becoming a trend, a husband and wife “psychic” team in the San Bernardino, California area have been charged with grand theft for allegedly swindling thousands of dollars from people in exchange for ridding them of evil spirits.

Nick and Cindy Uwanawich, who have been charged with three felony counts of grand theft, will face trial, Judge Michael A. Smith ruled following a preliminary hearing inside a San Bernardino Superior courtroom.

In December, Uwanawich reportedly told a woman that the spirit of a drowned person had attached itself to her, authorities said. In order to rid the woman of the spirit, Uwanawich reportedly told the woman to give her nine pennies, nine nickels, nine dimes, nine quarters and $9,000 for nine days.

The victim reportedly gave Uwanawich a large amount of money with the promise it would be returned, but it was not, officials said.

This is almost identical to what “psychic” Ruth Marks is charged with in Florida and New York, but Marks was clearly better at it; she got one woman to give her $500,000 in cash, claimed it was destroyed in the World Trade Center bombings, then got her to give another $300,000 after that. Human gullibility seems to have few limits.

18 comments on this post.
  1. tmscott:

    Uwanawich? Seriously?

  2. unbound:

    It’s almost like they didn’t know they’d be caught…

  3. Sastra:

    It seems that the case is based primarily on the fact that the money was supposed to be returned, but wasn’t. Would it be possible to file charges against someone who said they were going to remove evil spirits for a fee — but would keep the fee? How would you show that they did not remove the evil spirit? Or that it was their fault that the evil spirit was more tenacious than everyone thought?

    You’d think the psychics would learn to never promise to return the money. Because I’d think that people who believe that psychics can remove evil spirits wouldn’t really need that money-back guarantee which does all the mischief here. It shows a lamentable lack of faith.

  4. rabbitscribe:

    Good eye, tmscott.

  5. cry4turtles:

    This morning’s news said a woman in Mercer PA (where I live) had charges files for swindling some dumbass out of $30,000 for fortune telling fees. Can’t fix stupid.

  6. daved:

    Uwanawich? Ugottawitch!

  7. ah58:

    Of course if it was some pastor demanding “donations” to drive away demons, the law wouldn’t have batted an eye.

  8. ArtK:

    “She turned me into a newt! Well… I got better.”

  9. Who Knows?:

    They should have went on television, asked for prayer requests and good will offerings.

  10. raven:

    Sigh.

    No matter how many times it is explained, people just don’t get it.

    My cat is as good as any psychic or priest that ever lived. And she will get rid of demons and ghosts for a lot less than $9,000. How much less depends on how much you have of course.

    Just call 1-800-MagicCat and turn your life around.

  11. whirligig:

    Does anybody have a reliable way to contact the victims? It’s very important. For just $10,000, I can teach them to avoid future psychic frauds.

    No refunds, of course.

  12. robertschenck:

    “nine pennies, nine nickels, nine dimes, nine quarters and $9,000″
    From quarters to thousands of dollars? Well that escalated quickly.

  13. F [is for failure to emerge]:

    Oh, the privilege. What are people with less money supposed do if they are terrorized by spirits or something?

  14. Aliasalpha:

    @F

    Take consolation in the fact that they’ll never make people on the internet say “How did you ever get that much money if you’re so thick”?

  15. matty1:

    Just to be clear the charge is for saying the money would be returned not for claiming to remove evil spirits right?

    While I don’t think for a second anyone can remove evil spirits because there is no such thing, I would say that trying to decide supernatural claims is something governments and courts are not likely to be good at.

  16. democommie:

    @15:

    Failure to deliver on advertised services, maybe? I mean, I claim to be able to rid you of your demons. After the “treatment” you claim it didn’t work and demand your money back. You’re either being honest and it didn’t work OR you’re being dishonest–and it didn’t work.

  17. caseloweraz:

    Unbound: It’s almost like they didn’t know they’d be caught…

    “Ho hum… Another psychic’s head explodes.”

    /Cliff Claven

  18. godlesspanther:

    All they had to do was shout about Jesus and they would have gotten away with it.

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