A self-proclaimed psychic who allegedly told an Irvine woman she inherited a “curse” while inside her mother's womb, required a “cleansing” and eventually took the victim to the supernatural cleaners to the tune of more than $200,000 was scheduled to be arraigned today in the Santa Ana Central Jail court.
Lisa Debbie Adams, 35, of Los Angeles, is looking at 36 felony counts that could fetch her 30 years and four months in state prison, and authorities will only release her from lockup if she can both make her $250,000 bail and prove that all the funds came from legitimate sources.
Which begs the question: Did Lisa Debbie Adams see this coming?
If she had been reading her own palms, tea leaves or angel cards correctly, Adams surely would have known not to approach an Irvine woman walking with friends in West Hollywood in June 2008.
According to authorities, Adams noticed the Irvine woman was holding a different psychic's advertisement and, after identifying herself as a psychic, told the woman holding the ad of a “darkness” around her and how she'd better make an appointment for a “cleansing.”
Greasy, yes, but the illegality began after Adams discovered her mark had $100,000 in an individual retirement account (IRA), claims the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA). Adams set up several meetings in her West Hollywood apartment and the Irvine workplace of the victim identified as “Jane Doe.”
“Between June 2008 and August 2009, the defendant is accused of telling Jane Doe that she suffered a curse that had been placed on her mother's womb,” reads an OCDA statement on today's arraignment. “She is accused of instructing the victim to withdraw various amounts of money, as much as $96,000 at one time, in order to 'cleanse' Jane Doe of the curse. Adams is accused of claiming to Jane Doe that she was working and performing meditations and rituals to rid the victim of her 'evil.'”
When the woman told Adams she no longer required the psychic's services, Adams is accused of telling her they could not stop what they had started lest the curse befall on the victim's family.
Out of fear, prosecutors say, the Irvine woman continued drawing cash out of her accounts for Adams, who is alleged to have also instructed the victim to buy her $30,000 in gold bars (to make a “shield” for protection) and open several credit card accounts to purchase over $100,000 in luxury gifts—including clothing, furniture, electronics, accessories, and jewelry —(to “ward off evil”).
Adams is accused of convincing the woman to buy a Mercedes convertible, but the victim could not afford the payments and had to sell it back to the dealership at a $5,000 loss.
Fed up, the Irvine woman in August 2009 reported what had been happening to her local police department. After an Irvine police investigation, officers arrested Adams at her home on Friday. The OCDA later charged the 35-year-old with 32 felony counts of second degree commercial burglary, two felony counts of credit fraud, one felony count of grand theft, and one felony count of dissuading a witness with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $100,000 and property loss over $200,000.
Our crystal ball shows Deputy District Attorney Matt Lockhart of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.