A “psychic” named “Marks”? Run the other way

A Charlottesville woman who claimed she had a “gift from God” and could see the past and future has been indicted on multiple federal charges she defrauded multiple clients, one of whom sent her more than $1.4 million.

Source: Charlottesville palm-reader indicted; claimed ability to see future, talk to spirits

A federal grand jury indicted Sandra Marks, aka. “Catherine Marks,” in April. Marks, 40, offered astrological and spiritual services at Readings by Catherine in Albemarle County.

Marks, 40, was charged with 31 counts of wire fraud, two counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering in a sealed indictment returned April 22 in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville.

In the indictment, authorities allege Marks “unjustly enriched [herself] and others by obtaining money, jewelry and other things of value from her customers and clients” based on false pretenses, representations, promises and the omission of facts. She claimed to be clairvoyant and could see in the past and the future, as well as the ability to communicate with spirits from God.

This is a story we’ve heard over and over again. Curiously, note the name “Marks” which appears over and over in our stories about scamming psychics. According to POLICEMag.com: “Marks is a common Gypsy name. The Florida Marks are related to the Kansas City Marks. The Colorado Marks are related to the Las Vegas Marks. Both are into fortune-telling scams and allegedly may be into threats of violence, guns, drugs and arson to maintain control of their territory. Yet, no relationship is known between the two families. Confusion often reigns supreme when identity questions arise.”

Also note one slang definition for “mark”The target or victim of a swindle, especially one who is easily duped; patsy,sucker: not that he’s more of a mark than other horse nuts/ his ”marks,” as the gullible are called by a pitchman (1883+)

Hmm. Coincidence? I’ve not been able to find much more on this connection but I think there may be one. If anyone has additional info, please include in comments.

Speaking of “palm readers”, check out this video of how one works from the Good Thinking Society. You won’t be impressed but probably really annoyed.

  5 comments for “A “psychic” named “Marks”? Run the other way

  1. July 27, 2015 at 7:50 PM

    The only “travelers” name I know of is Gorman, and they operate in the Mississippi/Memphis area. They’re into a little bit of everything, including fortune-telling and curse removal…

    It’s amazing (and awful) that so many people fall for these scams.

  2. David H
    July 27, 2015 at 9:44 PM

    There are also Marks family members in Salt Lake City, UT and Spokane, WA.
    Some of the Salt Lake Marks clan seems to have gone into more mundane criminal activity, since I encountered the family there about 30 years ago.
    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/847907/County-charges-Gypsy-brothers.html?pg=all

    Here in Spokane, they are still pretty busy in the psychic industry.
    http://www.kxly.com/news/Marks-Family-Members-Indicted-In-40M-Psychic-Scam/9226656
    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/sep/01/marks-widow-denies-link-florida-familys-arrest/
    http://www.manta.com/c/mtx8wss/elaine-s-psychic-palm-tarot

  3. July 27, 2015 at 10:33 PM

    The “Good Thinking” Palmistry video is pretty amazing, but not in the Randi way! Not only is the man clearly pressured into taking the premium reading but the whole thing is done in about 5 minutes. My impression is that the palm reader had memorized a script from the way she rattled through it, practically without a pause. In fact at one point she seems to get so caught up in reciting her script that she starts to say that the man will be the “mother of…” and quickly corrects it to “father of…”. Of course that could simply be a natural mis-speaking that any of us might do, but it sure sounds suspicious given her breakneck presentation speed.

  4. Catish
    July 28, 2015 at 12:15 AM

    See the past ? Uh, yeah, so can I. It’s called reading a paper or history books. Oh probably meant she can see the past lives of someone ? Who cares ? Unless your past life hid something valuable somewhere no one knows about.

  5. Richard
    July 28, 2015 at 2:12 PM

    How is it that these fortune tellers who can see the future never see the police arriving with warrants?

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