Trials & Litigation

Psychic who bilked man out of $550K is sentenced to probation

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A New York psychic who bilked a lovelorn man out of more $550,000 over a 20-month period has been sentenced to four years of probation.

“I’m very sorry for what happened,” Priscilla Kelly Delmaro told the judge at her sentencing Tuesday on a grand larceny charge, the New York Times reports. She has already spent eight months in jail.

Delmaro, 26, had admitted taking $557,411 in cash and gifts from a Brooklyn man whom she had promised to reunite with a woman he loved. As part of her plea agreement, she also agreed to a confession of judgment, meaning that the victim will be entitled to collect on any of her future assets.

Her sentencing marked the culmination of a bizarre case recounted in an earlier article by the New York Times. The saga began in 2013 when Niall Rice, a 33-year-old Internet consultant, walked into Delmaro’s Times Square psychic shop looking to be reunited with a woman he had met at a drug treatment center in Arizona.

Rice had already frequented a different psychic who had bilked him out of nearly $150,000, including a $40,000 ring from Tiffany’s, when he visited Delmarco.

Delmaro told Rice that he and the woman, Michelle, were “twin flames,” but that negativity was keeping them apart, he later told police. She promised to bring the two of them together with the help of special crystals, a time machine and an 80-mile bridge made of gold.

Rice also admitted that he and Delmaro had once had sex.

The ruse continued even after Rice learned that Michelle had died, when Delmaro told him she could reincarnate Michelle’s spirit into another woman’s body.

Rice, who has since returned to his native England, did not attend the sentencing. But he told the Times afterward that he was “rebuilding” his life and plans to start a website devoted to exposing psychic scams.

“I got taken advantage of,” he told the Times. “I understand, ‘How could that person be so silly?’ But if you’re a vulnerable person and you’ve gone through certain things and someone comes along with an answer, then you want to believe in people.”

See also: “Psychics convicted in two separate cases; what is the line between fraud and free speech?”

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