Monday, August 22, 2011

Best-Selling Author and Grieving Mother Jude Deveraux Loses $20 Million to ‘Psychics’

Jude Deveraux

From The Daily Mail U.K.

Best-Selling Author and Grieving Mother Loses $20 Million to ‘Psychics’

Bestselling author 'gave fortune tellers $20m after she was told her dead son was somewhere between heaven and hell'

A bestselling author gave $20 million to a group of fortune-telling gypsies after she was told that her dead son was somewhere between heaven and hell, it has been claimed.

Prosecutors said ten 'psychic readers' from Fort Lauderdale in Florida allegedly conned customers out of a total of $40million, telling them that unless they handed over cash and valuables, they would be haunted.
Jude Deveraux, the author of 37 New York Times bestsellers, is reported to be the writer who lost $20 million.

Conned? Jude Deveraux, the author of 37 New York Times bestsellers, is reported to be the writer who lost $20 million to the gang of fortune tellers
Prosecutors refused to identify the author who they said lost her eight-year-old son in a motorcycle accident, but several sources with knowledge of the case has named Ms Deveraux.

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The author, whose real name is Jude Gilliam Montassir, wrote on her MySpace page that she 'adopted a son, Sam Alexander Montassir… My son died at age 8 in a motorcycle accident.'

Arrested: Nancy Marks is one of the fortune tellers who has been arrested for fraud (file picture)
Ms Deveraux, 63, who has written romantic novels and tales of the paranormal, was allegedly exploited by at least one of the defendants, Rose Marks, who she considered a friend.

'She was under, for want of a better word, the curse of Rose Marks,' Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurence Bardfeld told a judge at a hearing in federal court in West Palm Beach on Friday.

Police swooped on the soothsayers, who are all related by blood or marriage, this week after a huge cross-state investigation dubbed 'Operation Crystal Ball'.

More than 400 rings, 100 watches and 200 necklaces – many of them from Cartier, Tiffany & Co and Gucci – were seized.
Facing charges are Rose Marks, 60, Nancy Marks, 42, Cynthia Miller, 33, Rosie Marks, 36, Victoria Eli, 65, Vivian Marks, 21, Ricky Marks, 39, Michael Marks, 33, Donnie Eli, 38, and Peter Wolofsky, 84.

They all billed themselves as fortune tellers, clairvoyants and spiritual advisers and operated from shops in Fort Lauderdale.
The authorities said that many customers came to them as a desperate last resort, for instance hoping that they could be cured of a disease or put in touch with a deceased loved one.

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