Don’t Need a Clairvoyant to Know Court’s Position on Psychic Mail Fraud Scheme
MIAMI, Fla. – Three individuals and two companies have been permanently enjoined from operating an international mail fraud scheme offering unwary consumers psychic, clairvoyant or astrological services, the Justice Department said on Friday.
Robert Lhez, Mireille Dayer and Julie Poulleau, all residents of France, are alleged to have worked with two corporate defendants, Arcana Center and Partners VAD International Sàrl, to carry out various psychic mail fraud schemes.
According to the complaint filed in the Southern District of Florida, the defendants mailed hundreds of thousands of solicitations to recipients in the United States.
“These solicitations were riddled with false and misleading statements that gave the false impression that in exchange for payment of a small fee, typically of $45 or $50, the individual recipient would come into good fortune resulting in an imminent financial windfall though the lottery, inheritance or other game of chance,” the Justice Department said in a press release.
Federal prosecutors said tens of thousands of victims, most of them elderly or otherwise vulnerable, sent more than 34,000 payments to the defendants, totalling more than $1.4 million.
These victims, however, never received the promised benefit, the department said.
Under the terms of the consent decree and final judgement, defendants are permanently barred from sending any mass mail marketing material to the United States, including any pieces referencing psychic services and prizes.
The defendants are also barred from selling or leasing lists of U.S. residents who have responded to these and similar solicitations.
The federal court order also granted the U.S. Postal Service the ability to detain any mail responding to defendants’ solicitations and return, where possible, money to victims.
“The Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch will continue to investigate and bring cases to stop mass mailing fraud when it arises,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton in a written statement. “Individuals who perpetrate fraud schemes like those at issue here must be held accountable.”
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