Beaver County fortune teller charged with theft, telling clients she'd rid them of evil
A Beaver County fortune teller apparently didn't see it coming when an undercover state trooper reached out to her as part of an investigation into her business.
Now the fortune teller, Sophey Mary Mills, 27, of Center, faces two felony counts of theft by deception and two misdemeanor counts of fortune telling.
State police launched an undercover investigation after being alerted of two cases in which Mills allegedly charged clients thousands of dollars to rid them of evil spirits and negativity in their lives, according to a criminal complaint.
In one case, Mills, whose fortune-teller name is Sophia Wilson, charged a woman $200 for a tarot card reading and three-day soap and candle cleanse and then told the woman it would cost $3,000 to lift a curse that had been placed on her by an aunt, a complaint said.
The $3,000 in cash, all in $100 bills, was to be placed in a "mojo" or healing jar along with 30 teaspoons of various ingredients and an egg wrapped in a T-shirt.
When the woman brought the jar to Mills' business on March 10, Mills broke the egg in a ritual that she said would trap evil afflicting her client and then instructed the woman to run so the evil wouldn't follow her, a complaint said. Mills refused to return the money despite assurances she would do so, according to police.
Mills advised another client to make a mojo jar containing $2,300, which the fortune teller kept, a complaint said.
State police Trooper Jennifer Cantella reached out to Mills on March 23.
After charging Cantella $220 for a tarot card reading and three-day cleanse, the fortune teller allegedly told the undercover trooper that she had been a man who raped and killed six people in a past life. Mills told Cantella it would cost $400 to buy six candles to reverse the bad karma associated with those heinous crimes and an extra $400 to buy two candles to prevent the karma from ruining a romantic relationship, the complaint said.
When reached by phone, Mills said she had been unaware that fortune telling was a crime and wanted to clear her name before declining further comment until she spoke with her attorney.
A Facebook account for Mills' business, Psychic and Tarot Card Readings by Sophia, says the business began operating in 2004. It has operated out in the open along Center's busy Brodhead Road, near the entrance to the Community College of Beaver County. Center is home to about 12,000 people.
Mills was released on her own recognizance after being arraigned Thursday on the charges against her and is scheduled to appear for a April 20 preliminary hearing.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer and Tom Fontaine is a Tribune-Review assistant news editor.