TAMPA, Fla. — A purported psychic found guilty of grand theft and organized fraud has been sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison.
Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution said it secured a nearly 10-year sentence for a so-called psychic who conned a Hillsborough County woman out of more than $1 million.
Jaycee Wasso, a self-proclaimed psychic from Massachusetts, exploited a client for years, extracting cash and convincing the woman to marry a well-off businessman, then stole the husband’s money, Moody said. Authorities discovered the criminal scheme when Wasso’s client attempted to cash a cashier’s check for $1 million at an Amscot location in Tampa.
“This self-proclaimed psychic couldn’t see past her own greed and criminal intentions, and it doesn’t take a crystal ball to predict that she will be spending a long time behind bars, thanks to the skillful efforts of my Statewide Prosecutors,” said Moody.
An investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reportedly uncovered that in 2017, Wasso first approached an upset woman in a mall and convinced the new client that she was cursed. To get rid of the curse, Wasso told the client it would cost $4,000.
Over the ensuing weeks, Wasso is said to have pressured the woman into handing over more cash and ultimately convinced the woman to marry a 75-year-old businessman from Tampa. The defendant then began extracting money from the client’s husband by getting the client to provide fake excuses, like needing the money for her mother’s cancer treatment or father’s gambling debt, said Moody.
According to the investigation, in December 2018, Wasso continued to manipulate and pressure the client, demanding $80,000 in cash from the client’s husband’s account to ward off evil spirits. For nearly a year after, the defendant lied, misrepresented, and deceived the client’s husband, using the client to steal nearly $1.4 million in cash and jewelry, including a $50,000 Rolex watch.
Authorities discovered the criminal scheme when the so-called psychic’s client tried cashing a cashier’s check for $1 million at an Amscot location in Tampa. Allegedly, after failing to receive cash, an accomplice of Wasso eventually cashed the check at a check-cashing store in New Jersey.
A court found Wasso guilty of nine felony charges, including conspiracy to commit grand theft, organized fraud, grand theft, and structuring financial transactions. Judge Michael S. Williams of the 13th Judicial Circuit sentenced Wasso to nine and a half years in prison, followed by 15 years of probation.
Assistant Statewide Prosecutors Paul Dontenville and Cass Castillo handled the case on behalf of Attorney General Moody’s OSP.
Wasso’s client, Lin Halfon, pleaded guilty to organized fraud and is awaiting sentencing. Wasso’s husband, Joey Evans, and father-in-law, John Evans Marino, are facing charges of conspiracy to commit grand theft and grand theft related to the alleged cashing of the checks in New Jersey. They are awaiting trial later this year.
In addition, OSP secured $1 million in restitution payable to the Florida elderly victim.