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A Hopkins woman who operated a psychic readings shop in Hopkins pleaded guilty to scamming people out of more than $130,000, claiming she could get rid of curses.

Cynthia Julie Evans, 27, of Hopkins, was originally charged in October 2021 with two counts of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult and two counts of theft by swindle in connection to her scheme. 

Evans pleaded guilty on Aug. 1 to the two counts of theft by swindle and had the other two charges dismissed as part of the plea deal.

According to charges, two customers at her Psychic Readings shop in Hopkins' Mainstreet went into debt, opened new credit card accounts, cashed out retirement accounts and life insurance policies, and deceived others to get the money to pay Evans.

Victim 1

According to the criminal complaint, Evans swindled a man out of nearly $88,000 in cash and other property between June 3, 2018, and Aug. 27, 2020. 

The complaint states that the victim has mental health and developmental disorders. He first came in contact with Evans at her Psychic Readings shop in Hopkins in late spring 2018. He initially saw Evans for tarot card readings.

Evans told the man that he'd been "cursed at conception" and was suffering under a "multigenerational curse" that was put on his family. She told him if he bought 30 candles — one for each of his life — she could lift the curses. The candles were priced at $100 each, paying her a total of $3,000. However, the man never even saw the candles, as Evans claimed that she used them in a "secret ceremony that was too dangerous for him to attend," the complaint says.

Evans also performed a "ceremony" with the man at her store in December 2018. She told the victim he was still cursed and had to buy a Rolex watch priced around $30,000 to get it lifted. When he told Evans he couldn't afford it, they went to the Mall of America together and he used a credit card to buy the watch for more than $14,000. Evans said she needed to "work with" the watch so she could help him with the curse.

According to the complaint, the man didn't like the fact that Evans took the watch. The watch was eventually given back to the victim once Evans learned that she was being investigated. 

Evans charged the victim for a multitude of other things that include:

  • $10,000 for "ongoing spiritual work" — Evans allegedly took him to stores to apply for store-branded credit cards in December 2019. In January 2020, she paid herself $10,000 without his authorization. She told the man it was for "spiritual work." The complaint notes that Evans' checking account was negative when she made the charge.
  • $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 — that he never saw — to help his love interest break up with her boyfriend.
  • $5,000 for a crystal — that he never saw — to get his recently-deceased father out of purgatory and into heaven.
  • $2,000 for candles — that he never saw — to "clean" his "chakras."
  • $1,070 to help her rent a car to go on a "spiritual journey" for him, which happened to be a trip to Los Angeles with her husband and young child.

Prosecutors claimed in the case that Evans said things to gain and retain the victim's trust, and dissuaded him from seeing a mental health professional. Evans also told the man to not tell his family about how he was paying her, according to the complaint.

Victim 2

Evans also swindled a 64-year-old woman out of thousands of dollars, which included opening a $10,000 line of credit to pay for a crystal the woman never saw. Over $48,500 was swindled from the Minnetonka woman between May 18, 2018 and Feb. 9, 2021.

The victim was noted to be diagnosed with mental health issues had been under the care of a psychiatrist since 2004, according to the complaint. 

The woman was contacted by police after they saw she made "several large payments" to Evans via PayPal, and that Evans attempted to link the victim's credit card to her PayPal account as a payment source.

The victim started to see Evans in 2018 for "psychic services" to help her catch the attention of a love interest, the complaint states.

Evans told the bank that the victim opened the new line of credit through that she was the daughter of the victim and that the money was for "renovations."

The second victim was charged with similar transactions as the first victim faced, for things like ceremonies, services and candles, charges say. She also gave Evans a loan after Evans claimed that her husband cleaned out her bank account. On two separate occasions, Evans took $5,428 from the woman's life insurance policy, stating she was "protecting" her from the "evil" money.

She also would say things like "you have me, you don't need your therapist," and that "death" had been stalking her for "her whole life." She also made the claim that people were following the victim around and that her cancer would return if she didn't continue to pay Evans.

Evans defended her interactions with her clients when speaking with investigators. She compared herself to a doctor who prescribes medicine but can't force people to take it.

“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 told investigators, according to the complaint.

She also claimed that there should "be more people out there like me." 

Evans was contacted by police prior to this case, with officers confronting her about fraud allegations made by her customers. She admitted to it then and promised to stop, according to the complaint.

The plea agreement calls for Evans to be on probation for five years, serve no more than 90 days in jail and make restitution to the victims impacted. Evans will be sentenced on Oct. 3, according to court records.

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