A psychic based in Boulder, Colorado, has been charged with felony theft after allegedly persuading an heiress of the Lacoste company to part with upwards of $250,000 over the course of a year.
Becky Anne Lee, 32, is accused of telling Victoria Lacoste, a student in Boulder, that she needed the money to buy gold coins for rituals, according to the Daily Times-Call.
The University of Colorado student began seeing Lee for tarot card readings in 2014, according to an affidavit seen by the Daily Times-Call. Later, she saw Lee as a “spiritual adviser to work on her Chakra balancing,” the document added.
Over the course of a year, Lee allegedly purchased gold coins with the cash which she claimed would be used for her rituals. But police say she pawned the coins for cash and refused to answer Lacoste’s questions about when the coins would be returned.
The psychic allegedly persuaded Lacoste to carry on seeing her by warning that “evil spirits” would gain more control over her. Lee also urged Lacoste to lie to her parents about what the money was for, police say.
Lee has been freed on bail and is due back in court in February. The Psychic Chakra Spa, which she owned in Boulder, has been shut down and its website taken offline.
Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said the case against Lee may help others to come forward in similar situations.
“If you go to someone to read your palm or tarot cards, that’s not illegal,” said Garnett, according to the Times-Call. “If they start manipulating the relationship to mislead or take advantage, then it can lead to criminal charges.”
Lacoste, a member of the family which founded the Lacoste clothing company, has not commented on the story.
A similar case involving a psychic took place in Boulder County in 2012.
Nancy Marks, who ran Psychic Reading, was convicted of theft and tax evasion after persuading her clients to hand over around $300,000.
Marks convinced her customers by claiming she needed their money to draw out the bad energy and their credit card numbers to see how many times the number 6 appeared, the Boulder Daily Camera reported.
Although Marks gave small amounts of the money back to clients who became angry with her, she kept most of it for herself.