Edmonton police have arrested and charged a woman accused of defrauding 10 people in Alberta and more in Ontario.
Between April 2018 and May 2019, police said 10 similar incidents took place at the business Sable Psychic Studio. A woman claiming to be a psychic who worked under the name Sabrina Burt or Sable is alleged to have defrauded 10 people of more than $72,500.
One person claims they lost $20,250.
According to police, the victims were told they needed to pay a fee that cost thousands of dollars for a special crystal for a procedure that would remove negative energy. The accused reportedly told the victims they would receive a refund of the fee after the procedure had taken place.
In addition to changing the price and misrepresenting the services, the refund never occurred, police said.
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“Investigators believe the accused exploited the complainants’ vulnerabilities to convince them to pay ever-increasing amounts of money towards the crystal procedure,” police said in a news release on Tuesday.
“It’s not illegal to offer psychic services. It’s not illegal to do tarot card readings or palm readings or anything like that. When it becomes illegal is when there’s deceit and fraudulent means involved to get money out of people,” police spokesperson Cheryl Voordenhout said.
On Monday, police arrested Cynthia Burt and charged her with six counts of fraud over $5,000 and four counts of fraud under $5,000.
The 22-year-old was wanted on Canada-wide warrants for similar charges in Ontario, police said.
Detectives believe there may be more victims and are asking anyone who may have had similar encounters with Burt to contact the EPS.
“If it feels wrong, it probably is wrong,” Voordenhout said.
“If they are misrepresenting their services, using deceitful means, it’s probably wrong.”
Anyone with any information about this or any other crime is asked to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.