Priti Mahalanobis, a college-educated mother of two who ran a business, was having a rough time.
Her father’s company was in trouble. Her brother’s marriage was failing. She wasn’t feeling well.
Distraught, she went to the Meditation and Healing Center in Windermere after receiving a coupon book in the mail that included an ad for a $20 psychic reading, she said.
The woman, Peaches Stevens, also known as Mrs. Starr, told her there was a curse on her family that could be removed with Stevens’ help, court documents show.
Mahalanobis was to perform rituals, bring Stevens thousands of dollars, open credit-card accounts and keep them secret from her husband and hand over $65,000 worth of jewelry to be pawned, Mahalanobis said.
Seven months later, Mahalanobis was out $135,899 in cash, jewelry and gift cards, prosecutors said. By that time, she realized she had been duped and hired a private investigator to pursue the case.
What was she told to do to improve her lot in life?
Mahalanobis alleges that Stevens, whose office is steps from the Windermere Police Department, gave her several ways to purge her family’s bad luck. They included:
- Putting 11 $100 bills and 11 relatives’ names on a piece of paper in an envelope under her mattress and a grapefruit under bed while she slept. This purportedly was because money is the root of all evil, and the evil afflicting her family would be attracted to the money, Mahalanobis said.
- Buying seven tabernacles at a cost of $19,000 each to “vanquish the negativity, curses and evil spirits that plagued her family,” a charging report states.
- Keeping her efforts to purge the spirits secret or the evil would take over permanently and nothing could then stop it.
Fortunately, she realized that she had been made a fool of and called a private investigator. Then she swallowed her pride and made her ordeal public. Eventually, the State Attorney was pressured into filing charges.
Stevens is scum, but belief in the supernatural is what makes her and others like her successful.
The entire practice should be made illegal in the same way other cons are.
Repeat after me – psychics are frauds or deluded.