Have you ever walked past a neon glowing sign advertising tarot card readings or glanced at a woman giving $5 palm readings on the boardwalk in the summer?
You might be slightly intrigued to test out a so-called psychic's gift, but you also probably realize that those $5 are better spent on a happy hour beer or two, rather than on potentially empty predictions.
Mr. Niall Rice, a 33-year-old online entrepreneur, believed that psychic Pricilla Kelly Delmarco, 26, was capable of rekindling a brief relationship with a woman he had met during a stint at a rehab facility in Arizona.
Delmarco, as reported by The New York Times, promised Rice that the woman, named Michelle, truly did love him, and that negative spirits were keeping the two apart.
She convinced Rice that she needed money to "build a bridge of gold in another dimension to trick an evil spirit that was haunting Michelle."
After many visits, Rice realized that Michelle had passed away from a drug overdose. When he informed Ms. Delmarco of Michelle's death, Delmarco told him not to believe it, or it would be true.
According to Rice, Delmarco could reincarnate Michelle by putting her spirit into another woman's body.
Ms. Delmarco told Mr. Rice that her work for him was putting her in danger and destroying her financially, causing Mr. Rice to believe "Ms. Delmarco had sacrificed her business, home, car, was in $100,000 of credit card debt and had been living in a church."
It gets better.
In all of the court proceedings, Rice had omitted the fact that, prior to consulting Delmarco, he had seen another psychic named Brandy. He paid Brandy $2,500 the first day, another $10,000 later, given a $40,000 ring from Tiffany & Company to "ward off evil spirits," and even spent his birthday with her and her family.
Of course, between this and the long con between Delmarco and Rice, Michelle (before she died, of course) had indicated to Rice that she didn't have feelings for him. Yet, despite already dolling out a large amount of money to Brandy, Rice still sought the counsel of the second psychic, Ms. Delmarco.
Two psychics for a one-sided love affair that would never happen because the love interest had died. You'd think that was enough to stop. Maybe your faith in psychics would be forever shaken. Not for Mr. Rice.
Mr. Rice's allegations were called into question due to the fact that he had slept with Ms. Delmarco, and gave incomplete statements that he altered. The fact that the two had an intimate relationship caused the defense to claim that these items could be considered gifts.
In November of 2015, Delmarco pleaded guilty to grand larceny, and she will carry out a sentence of four years on probation.
She was released Tuesday after accepting a plea deal and serving eight months in jail. The plea agreement does not require her to pay restitution to Rice, but could force her to surrender any future assets to him.
Delmarco stated "I'm happy that I'm going to be home to my three kids... I've been through so much."
Maybe you'll probably think twice about dishing out that $5 (or $550k) for a psychic to tell you that they need to build a golden bridge in another dimension to fend off evil spirits haunting an unrequited love. As for Rice, he plans on starting a website that "exposes psychic scams." Good luck.[via The New York Times] [Feature Image Courtesy The New York Times]