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A Los Angeles area psychic and her husband are accused of convincing a San Fernando Valley man that he had a ‘love curse’ and bilked him out of nearly $1 million over a two-year period.
April Lee, 28, and Michael Johnson, 32, were arrested in a Northern California sting operation in November and are due in a San Jose courtroom on Dec. 19, reports The Los Angeles Daily News. They have been charged with grand theft, attempted grand theft and extortion.
Investigators said that Lee used the pseudonym Michelle Morgan when she met the alleged victim, 25-year-old Bryan James in 2011. He had a variety of problems, including issues with relationships when he first walked into her LA business.
During the first visit, Lee said she’d have to meditate on his love life then, during later visits, she and Johnson convinced him that he had a ‘love curse’ that could only be solded over time and with money. The criminal complaint states that James then borrowed money from anyone he could and handed over $926,750.
Lee would also text James, claiming to be his love interest.
“They isolated him from everyone he knew,” private investigator Bob Nygaard told the Daily News. “April would say something and Michael would swear to it, making everything seem real. They took him out to dinner on his birthday, he spent holiday meals with them. He really trusted them.”
Eventually, James figured out that it was all a scam, so he went to the LAPD, who didn’t take his story seriously. So, he went to Nygaard and they worked out a Santa Clara County sting operation to catch Lee and Johnson in the act.
The couple was arrested when they flew to San Jose with James where they would allegedly receive one last payment, notes The Associated Press.
The couple are free at the moment, but wearing GPS bracelets in lieu of bail.