HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - A Hollywood fortune teller was sentenced Tuesday to 37 months in federal prison after being arrested again for duping people with claims she could free them from evil spirits.
Bridgette Evans, 33, raked in $1.6 million from clients who believed she could eradicate otherworldly forces causing them misfortune, court records show. She would instruct people to send her cash—and in one case, a Rolex watch—that she would use in a spiritual ritual, promising to return the money once the spirits disappeared. She didn't.
Along with two relatives, Evans was arrested in May and charged with tricking clients out of money since 2007. All three have cut deals with prosecutors. Evans pleaded guilty in Fort Lauderdale federal court to a count of wire fraud and a count of mail fraud.
She previously served five years' probation after taking a plea deal in a similar "cleansing" case in 2000, U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas noted while sentencing her.
"I'm not convinced that Ms. Evans isn't going to do this a third time," he said.
Evans, who is 11 weeks' pregnant, implored the judge to sentence her to house arrest, saying she feared what will happen to her two children, 3 and 12.
Her attorney, Jim Lewis, argued Evans is a victim of the "gypsy culture" in which she was raised. She has a fifth-grade education and has had to make money as a psychic, he said
"Her life has been ruined because of the position her family and her culture have put her in," Lewis said.
Evans' sister, Pollie Evans, was sentenced last month to 41 months in prison, while the sentencing of another of Evans' relatives, Olivia Evans, was postponed because she was pregnant. Olivia Evans admitted she once told a woman to send her "a Rolex watch with a prism" so it could be used as "a vortex for demons to return to hell," court records show.
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