BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– A woman claiming to be a psychic has been sentenced to five years behind bars for stealing more than $300,000 from her clients.
Nancy Marks told her victims she needed their cash and credit card numbers to “draw out bad energy.”
In Dec. 2010, a jury in Boulder found Marks guilty on 14 counts of fraud and tax evasion.
As part of her sentence, the judge ordered Marks to pay back her victims.
“You people never give up, do you?” said Marks to the waiting media outside the courtroom before her sentencing on Friday. “Leave a person alone.”
Prosecutors said the 52-year-old ran a psychic business in Lafayette that scammed people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
People, who prosecutors claim, were all in dark places in their lives.
“One of our victims had a son who was thought to be dying within less than a year. All of them were desperate. She in particular was desperate to find some way to save him,” said Deputy District Attorney Mike Foote.
Foote said Marks’ fraud was deliberate. She groomed their victims, he said, and then ruined their lives. She convinced them to turn over cash, bank account numbers and credit cards so she could “scare the evil out of them.”
Foote told the judge the only way to protect the community from Marks was to put her in prison.
“We think that she’s shown no remorse whatsoever for what she did and she would continue to do the same thing if given the opportunity.
Marks’ attorney believes the sentence is too harsh and that the victims the jury believes she scammed, kept returning to her for advice.
“I think the sentence is over the top because I really think that the victims in this case were complicit,” said Defense Attorney Stanley Marks.
Marks said the victims may have been duped but no one held a gun to their head. He argued for probation in exchange for restitution.
“We offered to make these people whole,” said Stanley Marks.
But prosecutors said it was too little, too late for that.
“Many of them have been ruined financially,” said Foote.
There will be a hearing at a later date to determine the exact amount of restitution that Marks will have to pay.
Marks’ attorney said they will appeal. The judge gave Marks until Tuesday to report to prison.