Florida Fortune Teller Accused Of $25 Million Fraud

You wouldn't be alone if you had doubts about the work of fortune tellers. But criminal trials of psychics for fraud is in fact quite rare.

And so it was remarkable that on Monday, fortune teller Rose Marks, pictured, second from right, found herself on trial for allegedly organizing an elaborate $25 million fraud in which clientele gave her millions in "gifts" and loans, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Marks, 62, was no ordinary $20 palm reader either. With her family members, she operated shops in Fort Lauderdale and New York City and had an impressive client list, including Jude Deveraux, the 65-year old romance novelist and author of 37 New York Times best-sellers.

Deveraux has said she alone lost $20 million and that Marks, who calls herself a spiritual advisor and clairvoyant, preyed on Deveraux's problems, including the death of her son, and difficulty having children, according to ABC News.

In speaking to ABC News, Marks's attorney Fred Schwartz says his client claims psychic powers have run in her family for over 1,500 years. Marks adamantly has denied the charges. "I gave my life to these people. We're talking about clients of 20 years, 30 years, 40 years. We're not talking about someone I just met and took all their money and ran off," she said, claiming she helped Deveraux write some of her novels. "I was her inspiration and gave her insight on Romani mysticism." Marks said she charged her $1 million a year in exchange for giving up her other clients to focus on Deveraux.

According to authorities, Marks and her relatives instructed clients that they needed to make "sacrifices" in the form of payments so their problems could be resolved. Clients were also told they needed to lend the seers money and jewelry so their objects could be used in rituals, even though the clients say their personal property was never returned, according to a complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney's office.