A ‘PSYCHIC’ from Stratford has paid back $7,000 to elderly Americans she was accused of conning.
Alida Maggiori paid the sum to settle a lawsuit filed in the US state of Iowa on behalf of 325 people who received mailings promising them wealth and miracles for a fee of between $20 and $54.
The action was filed against Ms Maggiori and a company called Nature Plus Limited, registered to an address in Greenhill Street in the town.
The Iowa Attorney General’s Office learned of the complaint after a woman discovered her 91-year-old mother was sending money to psychics and prize promoters. The mailings advertised extraordinary powers, money and good health.
In 2013, Nature Plus Limited sent letters to mostly elderly Iowa residents from a person who claimed to have ties to spiritual leaders of many world religions.
Attorney General Tom Miller said: “It’s not hard to understand how some older and more fragile people could be drawn in by these sincere-sounding lies.
“What’s hard to understand, though, and something our office will not tolerate, are those preying upon susceptible Iowans who can least afford the losses, and picking their pockets.”
District Court Judge Eliza Ovrom approved the payment by Nature Plus Limited and its principal, Ms Maggiori, to resolve the consumer fraud lawsuit filed by Mr Miller.
His office said mostly older Iowans responded to the personalized psychic solicitations. They sent money at the request of ‘Mary Theresa’ or ‘Lady of Hearts’ in response to the mailings promising wealth and miracles.
Refunds will now go to the 325 people involved in the lawsuit.
The court also ordered Ms Maggiori and her company to cease all mailing directed to Iowans.
No one from Nature Plus Limited had responded to our request for a comment at the time of going to press.