A couple who purport to be psychics have been arrested on suspicion of fleecing almost a quarter-million dollars from customers, including at least one they had promised to rid of negative spirits, San Bernardino County sheriff’s officials said.
Cindy Uwanawich, 57, and Nick Uwanawich, 56, of Twin Peaks, have been charged with three counts each of felony grand theft after eight customers came forward and said they were scammed out of more than $238,000 in total. Both have pleaded not guilty.
The couple had been conducting psychic readings since January 2010 at a business called The Psychic Door in Crestline that previously operated in Idyllwild, and at The San Bernardino Psychic, according to San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies.
They also did readings at their homes in Crestline and San Bernardino, and at high-end hotels, sheriff’s officials said. Cindy Uwanawich told the woman during a psychic reading that a negative sprit from a previous life was attached to her, bringing negative energy that threatened her personal and professional life and her family’s safety, sheriff’s officials said.
The woman said Uwanawich told her she would clear the spirit if the woman paid Uwanawich nine pennies, nine nickels, nine quarters and $9,000 over nine days. Uwanawich said she would return the money after nine days, but she never did, according to the sheriff’s statement.
Uwanawich was arrested at the time on suspicion of grand theft and embezzlement, but she posted bail before charges were filed.
She also was found to be running an unlicensed psychic business in the mountain community of Crestline.
Following her arrest, seven more victims came forward to report they were scammed, with the loss totaling more than $238,000.
Felony grand theft warrants were issued for the couple this month. They were arrested Monday, May 20, and booked at the Central Detention Center, with bail set at $500,000 each.
They also were found to be running another unlicensed business in Yucaipa.