Three members of a South Florida family of fortune-tellers stood before a judge Monday, vowing to turn away from the cultural tradition that dictated their family’s work for centuries — and led to their arrests.
Their prosecution was a wake-up call, they said. They had changed their lives.
But the judge said they should have known better and, despite their relatively minor roles in a $25 million psychic scam, doled out more punishment than even prosecutors expected.
Marks’ granddaughter Vivian Marks, 23, was sentenced to four months prison, four months of house arrest and three years of probation.
The judge called the others involved in the scam “pretty reprehensible”. Their Vlax Romani culture was no excuse for getting away with this crime.
Also sentenced were Rose Marks’ two sons, Ricky and Michael. They each received six and eight months of house arrest, respectively along with two years of probation. The family says they are changing their ways and getting out of the traditional Gypsy fortune telling business that, in this case, was a network across the country involving allegations of curses and the apparently theft of significant money and valuables.
For a review of a book about American gypsy culture, see my book review here.