Victim Bilked Out Of More Than $120,000 From Wood-Ridge Psychic
Upper Saddle River, New Jersey- Fraudulent psychic Cathy Johnson made false promises to the unnamed victim, telling her that she could help cure a sick child, and remove “demons” from her life. In order to do these things for the victim, she would need very personal information from her. The victim not knowing any better, complied and gave Johnson everything that she asked for, including her driver’s license, birth certificate, and names of her family members.
Of course though, like most psychics you encounter on the street when you do not do your research and find professional, reputable psychics, it was just a scam run by a psychic from Bergen County; a scam that would end up swindling over $120,000 from her victim, according to authorities.
The 43-year-old fraud from Wood-Ridge is now in trouble with the law. Police are looking for her so that they can charge her with trafficking in personal information, witness tampering, and theft by deception, authorities state.
“She knows she’s in trouble,” Lt. Ed Kane, a detective from Upper Saddle River, said. He also stated that last week, a warrant was issued for Johnson and that he “thinks she’s running from the police.”
There are two offices that Johnson worked at as a spiritualist/psychic. They are both along Route 17, one is in Wood-Ridge and the other is in Rochelle Park.
The victim wanted to remain anonymous, but she still wanted to report the psychic. After being ripped off, the victim called the police line and tipped them off, referring to herself as a “concerned citizen”. Kane states that the victim told him that in early 2011 she visited the Wood-Ridge psychic office and Johnson immediately befriended her and made her all sorts of enticing promises about her and her family’s health and emotional well being.
Kane also states that the victim was instructed by Johnson to give her all of her personal information and documents, such as her birth certificate, her driver’s license, and the names and birth dates of all her family members.
According to police reports, the victim was being kept from telling friends or the police about her relationship with Johnson. The scam grew bigger and bigger, and it got to the point where Johnson included three other people to help her. One of them was a 59-year-old man from Paramus named Nicholas Demetro who was her stepfather, and the other two were 44-year-old twin brothers named Jimmy Horvath and Johnny Horvath, both from Belleville. The police have not been able to establish what kind of relationship Johnson had with the twin brothers.
Wednesday of this week, all three of the men helping Johnson were arrested when they tried to cash a $50,000 check that came from the victim. They each posted the $50,000 bail and are now free but they have all been charged with third degree theft by deception, as well as conspiracy to commit theft by deception.
The investigation into Johnson after the victim tipped them off was conducted by the Wood-Ridge and Lodi Police Departments, along with the assistance of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.
The Upper Saddle River Police Department is asking that anyone who knows the location of Cathy Johnson, or anyone who has been scammed in a similar fashion by either Johnson or the other three men, call the Detective Bureau at 201-327-2700.
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