Go Back  

NYT: Psychic Found Guilty of Stealing $138,000 From Clients 

Current Rating:

Join NowJoin Now
  #1  
Old 10-18-2013, 03:58 AM
IC10021's Avatar
IC10021
Offline:
So Fucking Banned
Poster Rank:1182
Join Date: Oct 2009
 
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
0/20 14/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssssss324
NYT: Psychic Found Guilty of Stealing $138,000 From Clients

Psychic Found Guilty of Stealing $138,000 From Clients
By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.
New York Times
Published: October 11, 2013


A jury found a Manhattan psychic guilty on Friday of swindling two women out of $138,000 in a case that probed the fine distinction between providing an unusual service and running a confidence scheme.





See photo "Sylvia Mitchell" below. Credit: John Marshall Mantel for The New York Times


The fortune teller, Sylvia Mitchell, 39, who plied her trade at the opulent Zena Clairvoyant psychic shop on Seventh Avenue South in Greenwich Village, scowled as the verdict was read, reaching up only once to dab an eye.

After the verdict, Justice Gregory Carro of Manhattan Supreme Court said he considered Ms. Mitchell, who lives with her two teenage children in Connecticut, a flight risk and ordered her held in jail. She faces up to 15 years in prison when she is sentenced on Oct. 29.

Outside the courtroom, Ms. Mitchell’s longtime companion, Steve Eli, had sharp words with her defense lawyer, William Aronwald. “You should have let her testify,” he said as he walked away. “You should have let her testify.”

After deliberating for six hours over two days, the jury convicted Ms. Mitchell on 10 counts of grand larceny and one count of scheme to defraud. The jury found her not guilty on five other grand larceny counts.

During a weeklong trial, prosecutors portrayed Ms. Mitchell as a clever swindler who preyed on distraught people, promising them that she could alleviate their troubles through prayer and meditation to remove what she called “negative energy” and rectify problems that arose from their “past lives.”

But her techniques also involved taking large sums of money from her clients, supposedly for safekeeping and to buy supplies for charms and rituals. Most of that money was never returned, according to testimony during the trial.

One witness, Debra Saalfield, who runs a marketing business and is a competitive ballroom dancer, said she had turned to Ms. Mitchell after a bad breakup and a job loss in 2008. Ms. Mitchell convinced her that her problems stemmed from her past life as an Egyptian princess and that she was too attached to money.

She convinced Ms. Saalfield to give her $27,000 for safekeeping as an exercise in letting go of money. Ms. Saalfield soon became suspicious, demanded her cash back and called the police. Ms. Mitchell eventually repaid Ms. Saalfield about $9,500, but kept the rest.

A second witness, Lee Choong, a Singapore native who earned a master’s degree in business in New York, went to Ms. Mitchell in 2007 when she was upset over an unrequited infatuation with a co-worker. Ms. Choong gave Ms. Mitchell about $128,000 over two years; she did not recoup any of it, despite a promise of a full refund if her life did not improve.

Ms. Mitchell also convinced Ms. Choong that she was surrounded with “negative energy” that would be dispelled by putting $18,000 in a jar and leaving it with the psychic. Later, Ms. Choong gave Ms. Mitchell tens of thousands more, supposedly for supplies.

During the trial, Mr. Aronwald argued that Ms. Mitchell had held up her side of her bargain with the women, providing prayers, meditation and rituals aimed at alleviating their problems. “She provided the services that were contracted,” he said.

That these methods did not work or were of questionable value did not mean Ms. Mitchell had defrauded the women, Mr. Aronwald argued in his summation. Both women admitted on the stand under cross-examination that they were deeply skeptical of Ms. Mitchell’s techniques, but paid her anyway, suggesting that they were never tricked into thinking the psychic had the power to better their lives, Mr. Aronwald said.

But an assistant district attorney, James Bergamo, described Ms. Mitchell as an expert at discovering people’s vulnerabilities and scaring them into handing over their cash. It mattered little, he argued in his summation, if Ms. Mitchell’s clients believed what she said about their past lives or negative spirits: the important fact was that they believed she would return their money. “The facts scream scam,” he said.

One juror, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “The case turned on the idea of larceny as a promise not delivered on.” He said Ms. Mitchell had taken “outrageous sums” from the women, claiming it was for supplies like candles, but used the money for other purposes.

“She was clearly robbing these people in a heinous way,” the juror said.

(A version of this article appears in print on October 12, 2013, on page A16 of the New York edition with the headline: Psychic Found Guilty of Stealing $138,000 From Clients.)

See photo "Sylvia Mitchell" below. Credit: John Marshall Mantel for The New York Times

Your Source For Death Pictures and Death Video
crime-scene-articleInline%20SYLVIA%20MITCHELL.jpg  

Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to IC10021 For This Useful Post:
gatagato, Oswald2001, Pyramid_Head
  #2  
Old 10-18-2013, 08:05 PM
petedeamon's Avatar
petedeamon
Offline:
My Rank: MASTER SERGEANT
Poster Rank:377
yes
Join Date: Sep 2009
 
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 86 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
0/20 14/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssss1919
Re: NYT: Psychic Found Guilty of Stealing $138,000 From Clients

When you screw up a great scam that has everyone eating your cleaver mysticism B.S. by the plateful, you are a disgrace to all scoundrels, Charlatans, and carney weight-guessers that have given you a good name,,,sigh

Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to petedeamon For This Useful Post:
gatagato, IC10021, Oswald2001
  #3  
Old 10-19-2013, 12:23 AM
Pyramid_Head's Avatar
Pyramid_Head
Offline:
My Rank: MAJOR
Poster Rank:80
Male
Join Date: Aug 2009
 
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Quoted: 1095 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
2/20 15/20
Today Posts
1/11 ssss12566
Re: NYT: Psychic Found Guilty of Stealing $138,000 From Clients

She should have seen this coming being a Psychic and all.

Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-19-2013, 02:07 AM
spycosis's Avatar
spycosis
Offline:
My Rank: SERGEANT
Poster Rank:683
XY
Join Date: May 2010
 
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 158 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
1/20 13/20
Today Posts
1/11 ssssss783
Re: NYT: Psychic Found Guilty of Stealing $138,000 From Clients

Finally someone is starting to throw the book at these fraudsters and charlatans. I hope Derek Ogilvie is next. He's a pure fucking twat and needs to be put in Broadmoor.

Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-20-2013, 04:41 PM
kellyhound's Avatar
kellyhound
Offline:
✝Moderator from Hell✝
Poster Rank:9
e-mail
Join Date: Oct 2006
Contributions: 401
 
Mentioned: 82 Post(s)
Quoted: 1751 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
13/20 20/20
Today Posts
8/11 ssss61129
Re: NYT: Psychic Found Guilty of Stealing $138,000 From Clients

Quote:
One witness, Debra Saalfield, who runs a marketing business and is a competitive ballroom dancer, said she had turned to Ms. Mitchell after a bad breakup and a job loss in 2008. Ms. Mitchell convinced her that her problems stemmed from her past life as an Egyptian princess and that she was too attached to money.

__________________
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to kellyhound For This Useful Post:
gatagato
  #6  
Old 10-27-2013, 01:55 AM
Spiffyfable's Avatar
Spiffyfable
Online
★ PSYCHOPOMP ★
Poster Rank:86
Man
Join Date: Oct 2009
 
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Quoted: 765 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
1/20 14/20
Today Posts
1/11 ssss11935
Re: NYT: Psychic Found Guilty of Stealing $138,000 From Clients

A Fool and Their Money.....

Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-27-2013, 08:16 AM
Hvergelmir's Avatar
Hvergelmir
Offline:
My Rank: MAJOR
Poster Rank:119
Join Date: Jun 2011
Contributions: 2
 
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Quoted: 1456 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
1/20 11/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssss8385
Re: NYT: Psychic Found Guilty of Stealing $138,000 From Clients

How is what she did any different than what churches do?

Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Hvergelmir For This Useful Post:
Oswald2001
  #8  
Old 10-27-2013, 11:34 AM
Oswald2001
Offline:
★ Server Supporter ★
Poster Rank:99
Join Date: May 2009
 
Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Quoted: 2756 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
10/20 15/20
Today Posts
9/11 ssss10520
Re: NYT: Psychic Found Guilty of Stealing $138,000 From Clients

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hvergelmir View Post
How is what she did any different than what churches do?
There is a vast difference.

She told them things that made them feel better in the moment but made no real difference, whereas churches...


No, wait...

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-27-2013, 03:05 PM
pbaj12's Avatar
pbaj12
Offline:
Captain of a Sinking Ship
Poster Rank:887
Join Date: Jan 2012
Contributions: 14
 
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Activity Longevity
2/20 10/20
Today Posts
1/11 ssssss523
Re: NYT: Psychic Found Guilty of Stealing $138,000 From Clients

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hvergelmir View Post
How is what she did any different than what churches do?
White Jesus.

She was required to pay taxes. She didn't have hundreds of people working for her sexually abusing little kids over decades. The list goes on.

She might have gotten away with it if her bullshit story was better..she should have found a book written 3,500 years ago to misinterpret to justify her practice.


Reply With Quote

Powered by vBulletin Copyright 2000-2010 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO