TARZANA (CBSLA.com) — A San Fernando Valley couple faced charges Thursday for allegedly scamming a 25-year-old man out of nearly $1 million.
KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports 28-year-old April Lee promised to lift a curse she said was keeping her client from finding true love.
Lee, 28, and her husband, Michael Johnson, 32, face grand theft, attempted grand theft and extortion charges following their arrest in November during a sting operation in Northern California, according to the Daily News.
Investigators say victim Bryan James first went to Lee’s psychic business on Etiwanda Avenue in Tarzana in 2011 looking for help with his career, health problems, and his romantic struggles.
Court documents show that Lee and Johnson convinced James that the only way to break the curse on his love life was to keep giving her money to fix it.
Over the course of the next two years, James borrowed money from relatives to pay Lee and Johnson over $926,000, according to documents.
James eventually grew suspicious and hired private investigator Bob Nygaard, who set up a plan that allegedly caught the pair trying to squeeze a one-time cash payment of almost $500,000 from James in a Santa Clara real estate exchange.
Lee and Johnson were released on bail under GPS monitoring after their arrest last month. The couple is due back in a San Jose court on Dec. 19.