York Regional Police have charged a woman with witchcraft and fraud in connection with an evil spirit blessing scam that took $600,000 from a 67-year-old man.
Police said in November 2017 officers began an investigation into an elder financial abuse incident.
Investigators said that a man met with a psychic named Evanna four years earlier.
They allege the woman convinced the man that he had evil spirits inside his home and in order to rid himself of them, he had to sell the house and transfer the money to her.
She allegedly said she would hold the money until all of the spirits were removed.
However, police said the woman never transferred the money back to the man. She also requested an additional $6,000, which she said she would burn in order to further ward off the spirits.
Police said the man then sold his car to make up the additional money. He also used credit and “other sources” to keep up with other demands for money from the woman.
Police have charged 27-year-old Samantha Stevenson, alias Evanna Lopez, with pretending to practise witchcraft, fraud over $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime.
She was scheduled to appear in a Newmarket court on Thursday.
Police said the charge of “practising witchcraft, under the Criminal Code of Canada, specifically deals with individuals who fraudulently portray themselves as having fortune-telling abilities or pretend to use witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration in order to obtain money or valuables from a victim.”
The charge is not connected to any specific religion.