Pricilla Delmaro persuaded a British man that she could reunite him with his dead girlfriend
A New York psychic pleaded guilty on Tuesday to defrauding a British man, who paid her more than $500,000 (£330,000), by conning him into believing she could reunite him with his dead girlfriend.
Pricilla Delmaro, 26, was arrested in May and now expects to be released on four years’ probation when sentenced on January 26.
The mother of three, who ran her business from an office in Times Square, said nothing in court other than “yes your honor” and “no your honor” to questions from the judge.
She admitted to one count of grand larceny to defrauding Niall Rice from November 13, 2013 and April 20 for having alleged psychic powers that could reunite him with his girlfriend.
A petite woman dressed in a long-sleeved, grey T-shirt and tan prison scrubs, she was handcuffed by a woman police officer and escorted back to custody at the end of the brief hearing at New York state court.
She is expected to be released in January after eight months in the city’s notorious Rikers Island in a plea deal that Rice has heavily criticised.
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Rice, 33, was a hugely successful marketing consultant at the time – so desperate to get back with a former girlfriend that he paid two Manhattan psychics more than $718,000 in his quest.
He had met the woman, Michelle, who died in early 2014 at a rehab clinic in Arizona, where they enjoyed a brief affair.
“It’s embarrassing now,” he told The New York Times in a telephone interview from Los Angeles, where he is currently living.
“I just got sucked in,” he told the paper. “That’s what people don’t understand. ‘How can you fall for it?'”
He hired a private investigator and, in May, police arrested Delmaro.
The investigator, Bob Nygaard, told AFP that Rice had paid more than $718,000 to two psychics.
He paid $148,764 in various amounts, including a $40,000 Tiffany engagement ring, to the first, but lost faith in her ability, he said.
So in November 2013, he switched his attentions to Delmaro, parting with $569,411 in the quest to find his lost love, he added.
In February 2014, he reportedly logged onto Facebook and saw that his ex had died. The psychic told him not to believe it and that she could allegedly get the reincarnated woman back, the Times reported.
Nygaard said Rice considers the plea bargain a “travesty of justice” and that repeated requests on police and prosecutors to press charges against the other psychic had fallen on deaf ears.
But Rice admitted to sleeping with Delmaro, which made it difficult for him to seek damages.
“We think it’s a fair resolution of this matter,” Delmaro’s lawyer Jeffrey Cylkowski told reporters. “She’s hoping to get it behind her and get on with her life.”
She has three children aged three to nine, he added.
Nygaard alleged it was common practice in so-called sweetheart swindles for “transient criminals to sleep with their victims as an exit strategy,” which they could use as a get out jail free card.
Rice is currently unemployed and still suffering the effects of the crime, which left him “extremely distraught,” he added.
By: AFP/Credited to The Telegraph