Police In Raid on Fortune Teller, look for a Voodoo Doll, Satanic Objects, and a Live Python.
According to authorities, a self-described fortune teller in California has been charged with defrauding a victim out of $50,000 in order to lift a family curse.
Andres Pena Meneses, 31, was charged with grand theft and theft by false pretense after posing as a fortune teller in Riverside, according to Riverside Police Department investigators.
After a woman went to have her destiny read, detectives from the department’s economic crimes branch initiated an investigation into an apparent “fortune teller” business in the 2500 block of Arlington Avenue.
The fortune-teller was identified by the victim as a Colombian national who went by the name “Carlos” and convinced her that she needed to pay hundreds of dollars to have parasites removed from her body.
According to authorities, Meneses, who goes by the moniker “Carlos,” later contacted the victim and told her she needed to pay extra money to be free of a curse that had been placed on her and her family.
He allegedly continued to persuade the victim that her children were in jeopardy and, under false pretenses, obtained more than $50,000 from her.
Officers were able to find Menses, according to a Riverside Police Department Facebook post made on Friday, and they had learned of his past conviction.
“Detectives were able to positively identify the suspect fortune teller as 31-year-old Andres Pena Meneses of Riverside,” the statement continued.
“They also discovered Mr. Meneses had been arrested and convicted for a similar fraud in late 2009 in Chicago, in which he pretended to be a “faith healer” and took money from victims.”
Detectives executed a search warrant at Meneses’ home and company in Riverside on Tuesday, October 26.
Detectives discovered “a large amount of cash,” as well as a voodoo doll, tarot cards, altars, religious and satanic type things, and a small live python snake, all of which they claimed were used in the scheme.
Other customers arrived during the search and told officers that Menses had directed them to bring their bed mattresses from their homes.
They claimed Meneses and his team would tear open the mattress and say they discovered a live snake, as well as demonic things and letters threatening the victims’ families.
More victims have come forward, stating that Menses would promote his services on the radio. This is a condensed version of the information.