Dec 20, 2016

Magistrate rejects new trial for psychic Rose Marks on fraud charges

Rose Marks, a Fort Lauderdale psychic, leaves the federal courthouse in West Palm Beach in 2013. (Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)
Rose Marks, a Fort Lauderdale psychic,
leaves the Federal Courthouse
Jane Musgrave
Palm Beach Post
December 19, 2016

Calling her allegations “wholly without merit,” a federal magistrate has rejected psychic Rose Marks request to throw out her conviction and 10-year prison sentence on charges that she defrauded customers out of $17.5 million.

In a 26-page recommendation filed late Friday, U.S. Magistrate William Matthewman said he found no evidence her attorney duped her into taking the bizarre case to trial as a publicity stunt. Instead, citing testimony from attorneys who represented family members who were also charged in connection with the scheme, Matthewman said Marks ignored attorney Fred Schwartz’s advice. She rejected a plea deal that would have sent her to prison for five years, Schwartz and others testified at a hearing in October.

“This is a case where (Marks) steadfastly refused to plead guilty and insisted upon a trial,” Matthewman wrote. “Now that she has been convicted and sentenced, she is unhappy with her decision to proceed to trial. However, this is not a basis upon which this court can grant relief.”

Matthewman’s recommendation will be sent to U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra who will make the final decision about whether her conviction will stand.

After a nearly month-long trial in 2013, a jury convicted Marks of 14 counts of fraud for taking millions from heart-broken customers. They testified they believed Marks’ claims that she had connections to the after-life that would help them overcome their personal tragedies.

The star witness for federal prosecutors was best-selling romance novelist Jude Deveraux, who testified Marks bilked her out $12 million during their 20-year relationship. Deveraux said she believed Marks could perform a soul-swap so she would be reunited with her 8-year-old son, who died in an ATV accident.

As part of her campaign, Marks sent Deveraux emails she crafted to make it appear they came from former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and actor Brad Pitt. Reeling from the loss of her son and a failed marriage, Deveraux said she believed the two men loved her, as the emails claimed.

Marks claimed the emails were simply research she was doing for Deveraux’s books.

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