Thursday, August 18

California fortune teller tricks family and charges them $ 50,000 to free her from a curse

The so-called fortune teller stole $ 50,000 from a woman who had a “curse.”

Photo: Riverside Police / Courtesy

A California man, claiming to be a fortune teller, tricked a woman into giving him more than $ 50,000 to “rid his body of parasites and cure his family of a curse,” according to police.

Andrés Peña Meneses, 31, was arrested for serious crimes of grand theft and robbery under false pretenses after the scammed family went to the police to report the self-described clairvoyant, who convinced her to pay him several hundred dollars to “flush the parasites out of her bodyRiverside police said in a statement.

Meneses, described by the woman as a Colombian citizen, also called “Carlos,” told her that she and her family were “cursed,” prompting the woman to shell out more than $ 50,000 for her services.

Detectives managed to track down Meneses and learned that he had been previously arrested and convicted in Chicago for a similar scheme in 2019. Police said he had described himself as a “faith healer” and scammed victims.

Investigators recovered a “significant” amount of cash Tuesday during a search of Meneses’ home and business in Riverside, where he also had a voodoo doll, tarot cards, religious and satanic objects, as well as a small pet python that he used. during the sessions, police said.

Various witchcraft items, including tarot cards recovered from the house of Meneses.
Objects found in the scammer’s house. (Photo: Riverside Police)

“While they were at the business conducting the search, several clients arrived and told detectives that Meneses told them to bring the mattress from their home,” police said in a statement.

Meneses would open the mattresses and make them believe they had discovered the living snake inside, as well as “demonic-type” items and letters, indicating that they were in danger along with their families, police said.

Other victims told police that Meneses had advertised his services on the radio and told them that it could cure ailments such as diabetes, sleep disorders, nightmares and headaches.

Meneses was released after posting a $ 57,000 bond, but no one else in the business was arrested, a police spokesman told Riverside Press-Enterprise.

“Detectives believe there are many more victims and that the Spanish-speaking community was a specific target,” said Officer Ryan Railsback.

Anyone who believes they were a victim of Meneses should call Riverside Police at (951) 353-7117.

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