Police raided the LA home of Andres Pena Meneses after he allegedly conned a woman out of £36,500 (Picture: ABC7/Riverside Police)
A fortune teller should have foreseen being arrested after he allegedly conned a woman out of £36,500.
Andres Pena Meneses, 31, from Riverside, California, is accused of swindling the woman by claiming to cure her of parasites and a family curse.
The Colombian national has a previous conviction for posing as a phony ‘faith healer’, and allegedly advertised his fortune-telling business under the name ‘Carlos’.
According to police, a woman went to Meneses to have her fortune read and was told she had parasites that ‘Carlos’ could remove for several hundred dollars.
Meneses then allegedly contacted the woman again, saying her family was cursed and her children were in danger.
‘Through his false pretences, the victim ended up paying “Carlos” over 50,000 dollars,’ police said.
His home in east Los Angeles was searched and officers found cash along with ‘a voodoo doll, tarot cards, altars, religious and satanic-type objects, and a small live pet python that were used as part of the fraud’.
Customers at the business told investigators that ‘Carlos’ had told them to bring their mattresses from home.
They said Meneses and his staff would cut open the mattress ‘and claim to have found the live snake inside with demonic-type items and letters stating the victims’ family was in danger’.
Police were also told Meneses had advertised his services on the radio and claimed he could cure ailments such as diabetes, headaches, sleep disorders and nightmares.
‘Detectives believe there are many more victims and that the Spanish-speaking community was specifically targeted,’ a police spokesman added.
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