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Police: Fortune teller claimed cure for 'curse' for $200,000 scam

March 6, 2014 at 3:45 PM

NEW YORK, March 6 (UPI) -- New York police arrested a fortune teller accused of scamming a woman out of more than $200,000 with claims of a curse that needed to be lifted.

Investigators said Amanda Ufie, 26, a fortune teller operating out of a Manhattan storefront, convinced Jiawei Li, 22, that she was suffering from a curse in January 2012, and Li paid Ufie $217,040 in the ensuing 10 months to lift the curse, the New York Post reported Thursday.

Police said their investigation, which began when Li filed a complaint against Ufie in January, discovered a "second individual" had been bilked of $1,400 when Ufie claimed "to have the power to remove negative energy from the second individual's body," the criminal complaint states.

Ufie, aka Amanda Petro, was arrested Tuesday and charged with grand larceny and scheme to defraud. She was held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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