A palm reader who convinced one of her clients her daughter was possessed by a demon allegedly scammed her out of more than $70,000 to get rid of it.
Officials from the Somerset Police Department allege Tracey Milanovich, from Massachusetts, convinced the woman she needed the money – totalling $71,000 – to help banish the demon.
The 37-year-old runs a business called Tracey’s Psychic Palm Reader, with police saying they do not know how many other people might have fallen victim to the alleged fraudster.
Police said Milanovich convinced a client she needed to provide thousands of dollars worth of cash in addition to purchasing household items, including towels and bedding, to banish the spirit from her daughter.
The department said the palm reader was found to have stolen approximately $71,000 from the woman upon her arrest on December 27, with the accusations dating from November 15 – when the woman first appeared at Tracey’s Psychic Palm Reader to have her palm read, police said in their report.
Upon posting the palm reader’s alleged crimes to their Facebook page, many criticised the industry as a whole, calling palm readers and psychics ‘scammers’.
While one person wrote: ‘Every customer is a victim, just a performer taking your money,’ another said: ‘I mean most are gimmicks….99% of the industry is about tricking people and profiting on others grieving or hopes to contact a lost loved one.’
Others were more worried about the young girl whose mother believed she was possessed by a demon, with one person writing: ‘Is the little girl ok? I mean her mother thinks she’s possessed.’
Milanovich is charged with six counts of obtaining property over $250 by trick, attempt to commit a crime, criminal harassment, larceny over $1,200 and intimidating a witness, a spokesperson for the Fall River District Court in Somerset told CNN.
She pleaded not guilty at her arraignment on Monday, December 30, and was released on personal recognizance, which is the pre-trial release of a defendant from jail without bail on the basis of a promise made by them to return to court.
Milanovich’s next court appearance is scheduled for February 21, a spokesperson for the Fall River District Court said.
Somerset police are asking anyone else who thinks they may have been victimised by Milanovich or who has any information about the case to contact Officer Donald Cormier on 508-679-2138.