And finally… didn’t see it coming

And finally... didn't see it coming

A man who perpetrated a massive psychic mass-mailing fraud scheme which stole more than $175 million from over 1.3 million victims has been jailed for 10 years.

Over two decades, Patrice Runner, 57, sent millions of letters purporting to be individualised, personal communications from well-known so-called “psychics” Maria Duval and Patrick Guerin.

The letters, distributed across the US, promised that the recipient had the opportunity to achieve great wealth and happiness with the assistance of the “psychics” in exchange for payment of a fee.

Once a victim made a single payment in response to one of the letters, the victim was bombarded with dozens of additional letters, all purporting to be personalised communications from the “psychics” and offering additional services and items for a fee.

Runner directed the remarkably lucrative scheme for its entire 20-year operation from 1994 to 2014. He was extradited to the US from Spain in 2020 and convicted last year of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and multiple counts of mail fraud and wire fraud.

He was sentenced this week to 10 years’ imprisonment.

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