A Maryland woman who said she was a psychic and scammed customers out of $340,000 to cure them of "curses" has been sentenced to six years in prison.
Gina Marie Marks, who identified herself as Natalie Miller in her meetings with clients, stole from five people who sought her help over the course of more than two years.
Marks pleaded guilty to felony theft in February.
"I'm not a monster. I'm a good person," Marks said in court Friday.
The judge said her actions were premeditated and she preyed on vulnerable people.
Marks was also ordered to pay restitution to the victims totaling about $300,000.
"This is really an important sentence that balances both restitution to the victims and protecting society," said Ramon Korionoff, spokesperson for the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office.
In February, Marks said her services are legitimate and she really is a psychic.
“People are racist from gypsies,” Marks said from beneath a black, puffy coat. “They’re racist on my culture. We do have power. We’re not allowed to talk about it.”
Police first learned of Marks’ tactics in May 2016, after a 26-year-old Chinese immigrant learned that her boyfriend was married to another woman. Seeking guidance, the woman saw an online ad for “Readings by Natalie.”
When the woman contacted Marks, she told her she would be able to cast love spells. But she said she would need large amounts of cash to do it.
Marks had the woman meet her at stores, where Marks used the woman's credit card.
The customer got suspicious after Marks had received more than $80,000 from her in cash and purchases. The woman asked for her money back and called the police and a private investigator.
On four other occasions, Marks told clients she had the ability to reverse curses. In June 2014, one victim paid Marks and said she was told she would get her money back once the curse was broken.
She never got back the $2,654 she paid.
As Marks received cash and shopping trips with her clients’ credit cards, she posted pictures to social media of herself with expensive clothes, jewelry and purses.
Eventually, the private investigator hired by one customer was able to track down Marks at Miami International Airport. She was arrested before she was able to flee the country.