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A Hopkins woman who operates a psychic reading shop in the Twin Cities is accused of swindling two people out of more than $130,000, claiming she could get rid of one of the victim's curses. 

Cynthia Julie Evans, 26, of Hopkins, was charged via summons last month with two counts of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult and two counts of theft by swindle in connection to her alleged scheme. She's set to appear in court on Dec. 7. 

In an interview with investigators, Evans allegedly compared herself to a medical professional and said she only recommends things to her clients, she did not make them buy candles and crystals, among other items, court documents state. 

Psychic Readings, her shop on the second floor of a building at 815 Mainstreet in Hopkins, has closed indefinitely, the Star Tribune said

The charges

According to the criminal complaint, Evans swindled a man, identified as Victim 1,  out of about $87,886.61 in cash and other property between June 3, 2018, and Aug. 27, 2020, and swindled about $48,575.44 from a Minnetonka woman, identified as Victim 2, between May 18, 2018, and Feb. 9, 2021, charges said. 

The victims went into debt, opened new credit card accounts, cashed retirement accounts and life insurance policies and deceived others to get the money to pay Evans, the complaint alleges. 

Victim 1, who has mental health and developmental disorders, was 30 and living in Hopkins when he first went to Evans' Psychic Readings shop in Hopkins in late spring 2018. The victim initially saw Evans for tarot card readings, charges said. 

Evans had told him he'd been "cursed at conception" and was suffering under a "multigenerational curse" that was laid on his family, charges said. Evans said she could lift the curses if he would buy 30 candles, one for each year of his life, at a price of $100 each. He paid her $3,000 for the candles in June and July 2018 but was never given the candles or any evidence that Evans had bought them. Instead, Evans told the victim she used the candles in a secret ceremony that was too dangerous for him to attend. 

Evans performed a "ceremony" with Victim 1 at her shop in Hopkins in about December 2018, charges said. During which, Evans said the victim was still cursed and that the cure involved buying a $30,000 Rolex watch. He said he couldn't afford it and they went to the Mall of America, where he used a credit card to buy a Rolex watch for more than $14,000. He thought the watch was for him, but Evans said she needed to "work with" the watch so she could help him with the curse. 

He gave her the watch but said he wanted it back at some point and didn't like that she was taking it. Evans told him she couldn't guarantee its return due to the nature of the work with the watch, the complaint states. Evans' attorney returned the watch to the victim on Jan. 28 of this year after Evans learned of her criminal investigation.

In the complaint, Evans is accused of charging Victim 1 for other products and services that include: 

  • $10,000 for "ongoing spiritual work" — Evans allegedly took him to stores to apply for store-branded credit cards in December 2019. Then in January 2020, she paid herself $10,000 without his authorization. When he asked Evans about it, she said it was for "ongoing spiritual work." At the time of the charge, her checking account was negative. 
  • $8,322.21 to work with "energies" to help him find a job, which she said she had to then "pause" because she was busy "helping homeless people" during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • $9,095 for a crystal to help his love interest break up with her boyfriend (he never saw the crystal)
  • $5,000 for a crystal to get his recently-deceased father out of purgatory and into heaven (he never saw the crystal)
  • $2,000 for candles to "clean" his "chakras" (the victim never saw the candles, charges state)
  • $1,070 to help her rent a car to go on a "spiritual journey" for him, which happened right after she flew to Los Angeles with her husband and young son

Prosecutors allege Evans made statements intended to gain and retain the victim's trust. She said he could rely on her instead of a mental health professional and she promised that he'd benefit "tenfold" from every penny he spent on her, and advised him not to tell his family about the lengths to which he was going to get money to pay her, the complaint said. 

Charges also detail Evans' alleged actions with Victim 2. Victim 2, who was 64 when she began seeing Evans, has been diagnosed with mental health issues and has been under the care of a psychiatrist since at least 2004. 

Police contacted Victim 2 after seeing she made several large payments to Evans via PayPal, and that Evans had attempted to link the victim's credit card to her PayPal account as a payment source. 

According to the charges, Victim 2 began seeing Evans in 2018, primarily using her for "psychic services" to help her catch the attention of a love interest. 

The victim ended up paying thousands of dollars to Evans, including going with Evans to open a $10,000 line of credit which she used to pay Evans for a crystal, charges said. Evans told the bank she was the victim's daughter and the money was for "renovations." The victim never saw the crystal.

Victim 2 reported several transactions similar to what Victim 1 reported, including for ceremonies, services and candles, charges said. She also gave Evans a loan after Evans claimed her husband cleaned out her bank account. On two separate occasions, Evans took $5,428 from the victim's life insurance policy, saying she was "protecting" her from the "evil" money.

Evans would tell the victim things like, "You have me, you don't need your therapist." And that "death" had been stalking her for "her whole life," which is why the victim needed to cash in her life insurance policy, the complaint states. Evans also said "people" were following her around, and that her "cancer would come back" if she didn't pay Evans to help her. 

Evans spoke to investigators on April 12 of this year, she defended her interactions with the clients, saying she never forces them to buy products, only recommends things, charges. 

She compared herself to a doctor who prescribes medicine but can't force people to take it, telling investigators: “I recommend things that will help, I give them the things that will help, I give them the guidance, but it’s like, you could lead a horse to water but you can’t make the horse drink the water.” 

She added that “everybody needs a spiritual life coach” and that “there should be more people out there like me," the complaint states. 

Evans said she wasn't aware that Victim 1 had mental health issues and declined to answer questions about Victim 2 or other customers, citing privacy concerns, the complaint says. 

Prior to these criminal charges, police reports involving Evans show Hopkins officers previously spoke with her at least twice about allegations of fraud from her customers and she admitted and promised to stop such conduct, the charges state.

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