FRAUD ALERT: Man Pretending To Be World Famous Psychic Stole Over $175 Million From Victims, Now Faces 280 In Prison

Prison Bars
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Patrice Runner faces up to 280 years in prison behind a decades-long fake psychic scheme that stole more than $175 million from vulnerable and elderly Americans. The New York Post reports that the 57-year-old was found guilty of multiple counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, and other related crimes. Each charge holds a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. 

The mass-mailing, fraudulent money scheme took place between 1994 and 2014. For twenty years, Runner sent millions of letters impersonating famous psychic Maria Duval. Each promised to provide the targeted victims with good fortune and happiness in exchange for money for

“psychic services.”

The Washington Post said that a 2014 letter promised the person’s life, 

“was going to take a turn for the better,” but to find out more, they must pay $37.50.”

Another resurfaced letter stated:

“All you have to do to see your life change is grasp the hand of friendship we are holding out to you.”

But apparently, that friendship cost $50.

Though the letters had handwritten statements and personal details about the recipients, they were practically identical in nature. The fraudsters had letters mass-produced so that tens of thousands could be mailed off each week.

Runner acted as the head of the operation behind the scenes. Within his crime organization, he advised his co-conspirators in the day-to-day operations. Their targets were always vulnerable groups, focusing on elderly individuals with dementia and people going through financial hardship.

According to investigators, Runner’s money-making scheme did not involve or include the real Duval. Instead, they found all letters came from conmen who masqueraded as workers for Infogest Direct Marketing, one of Runner’s companies. He attempted to hide his involvement by using several shell companies to keep a low profile.

For over 20 years, Patrice Runner managed a predatory scheme that targeted older Americans by mailing personalized letters to millions of victims purporting to be from a world-renowned psychic. [The] verdict should have come as no surprise to Mr. Runner”

said Inspector in Charge, Chris Nielsen.

#Clique, what do you think?

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