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$62,000 taken in 'curse' scam

April 22, 2010 at 4:38 PM

CHICAGO, April 22 (UPI) -- Authorities in Illinois are searching for two women charged with stealing a woman's money under the pretense of cleansing it of evil spirits.

Cook County authorities indicted Laura Santini, 61, and her daughter, Rosann, 35, on felony theft charges this week for scamming a Park Ridge woman out of $62,000, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

"They basically were able to convince the victim that some money she had gotten was cursed money and that somehow that curse had transferred to other money that she had," Chicago police Detective Milorad Sofrenovic said. "They told her that in order to be able to remove this curse, they needed to take this money physically to a shrine in Indiana and with prayers drive the curse from the money."

Sofrenovic said the woman realized she had been scammed when she saw a "for rent" sign on the women's Chicago home. He said the women have not been seen in more than a year.

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