A Florida woman claiming to be a psychic fortune teller has been sentenced to three years in prison for scamming a Texas woman out of $1.6 million by promising to lift a family curse.
Sherry Tina Uwanawich, who also goes by Jacqueline Miller, met the victim in Houston back in 2007, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida announced Monday.
The 28-year-old Uwanawich gained the victim’s trust and used it to convince her that her family was under a curse, according to the statement.
The victim, who was in medical school, had been deeply depressed after her mother’s death, the New York Times reported.
The made-up fortune teller claimed over the next few years that her client needed “large sums of money” to buy candles, crystal balls, and other items used for meditation to lift the curse, prosecutors said.
Uwanawich also said that harm would come to her and her family if she did not pay for the items. The phony fortune teller kept up the scheme for years, even after she moved to South Florida.
The scheme ended back in 2014 when Uwanawich told her victim that the curse was fake.
Uwanawich pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and was sentenced to prison in Miami more than a decade after she first concocted the scheme. She is also responsible for paying $1.6 million in restitution.