A man and woman have been sentenced to prison in connection with a fortune-telling fraud scheme that began in Miami and bilked a victim out of more than $3 million in exchange for lifting a family curse.
Michael Paul Guzman, 42, was sentenced to 38 months in prison and Samantha Stevens, 51, was sentenced to 30 months in prison, according to a news release Thursday from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
Prosecutors said Stevens had been portraying herself as a psychic/fortune teller when she met the victim in Miami in 2012.
Stevens convinced the victim that a curse had been placed on her and her family, and said she needed to perform rituals on large sums of money to lift the curse, authorities said.
The relationship between Stevens and the victim lasted for several years, with the victim being persuaded to give up more than $3 million to lift the curse.
Stevens and Guzman spent the victim’s money on property, vehicles and gambling in casinos, prosecutors said.
In 2016, Stevens cut off communication with the victim when the victim could no longer pay for the rituals. That’s when the victim contacted federal law enforcement.
Stevens and Guzman were also ordered to pay $3.198 million in restitution to the victim.