A psychic from Manhattan and one of her associates dodged a prison sentence and were each given five months probation for defrauding victims out of hundreds of thousands of dollars on Thursday. The self-proclaimed psychics pleaded guilty to scheming to defraud and grand larceny charges.
Sarah Demitro and Ann Thompson each pleaded guilty in Manhattan criminal court and agreed to pay back victims a portion of their proceeds from the scam as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.
"Crime pays," uttered a victim when the Midtown psychics got no jail time on Thursday for their theft of over $1 million from their clients. Another victim asked, "How can this be?" as she chased Manhattan Assistant DA Michael Perez out of the courtroom following the hearing, reported Daily News.
The two victims, in emotional statements made before the sentencing, pleaded with the judge to impose a stern sentence on the women, who they said preyed on them while they were emotionally and psychologically vulnerable. One of them claimed she was bilked out of more than $740,000 by Thompson.
One of the victims, an unidentified woman who traveled from Canada, said that she was the "perfect mark." She was standing around 30 feet from Thompson in the courtroom, reported New York Post. The victim added, "I never realized any human being could be so... utterly evil," reported Newsbreak.
Plagued by Curses
A 59-year-old woman said she first met "Psychic Zoe" in 2013 following her payment of $5 for a psychic reading in Midtown while visiting her child in college in New York. That $5 reading sent her life spiraling out of control as she was swindled out of hundreds of thousands of dollars to the psychic who told her she was afflicted by a number of curses.
Two of their victims asked the Manhattan Supreme Court Justice to impose a more substantial sentence for the crimes committed by the psychics. They said that the scam drained them of their life savings meant for their retirement. The victim from Canada, who was disguised by a white wig, said she met Thompson during a trip to the city in Canada. She told the court that Ann Thompson said that she could have been a lawyer or a judge because she knew how to "game the system."
One of the victims was driven to homelessness, went through a divorce, and had suicidal thoughts after realizing that she had turned over her life's savings to the supernatural fraudster. She touted Thompson as her "own personal terrorist." She appealed to the judge to not let her out on probation.
The victims were disappointed over Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Gregory Carro's light sentence for Thompson or "Psychic Zoe" and her associate Demitro. As part of their deal, both Thompson and Demitro had to pay their victims more than $200,000.