A therapist in New Jersey was charged for fraudulently using her clients’ credit cards to pay for approximately $40,000 in psychic readings from a downloadable app.
According to reports, the woman was a provider and the owner of the Counseling by the Sea therapy center in Ocean City, New Jersey, and she recently went through a breakup with her boyfriend.
She said she used the Sanctuary Ventures downloadable app, which offers daily horoscopes, personalized astrology, and psychic readings, in an attempt “to gain clarity.” After regular use, she reported that she displayed addictive behavior when using the app.
It was reported that the 32-year-old woman used the balances of her credit cards to pay for Sanctuary Ventures services. When she needed more funds, she started to use credit cards that belonged to her counseling clients to foot the bill.
At the beginning of December, the mother of one of her adolescent clients noticed a discrepancy on their Mastercard statement and notified Sanctuary Ventures about two unauthorized credit card purchases.
Sanctuary Ventures began to investigate the situation, and when they connected the payments to the therapist’s account, they suspected that she was at fault.
The company blocked the woman’s email address to try to prevent further incidents.
The authorities became involved and reported that the therapist used 30 different client credit cards over two months. Approximately 20 more cards were declined when she tried to use them.
The amount of the charges totaled approximately $40,000.
When detectives talked to the woman, she initially said she wanted an attorney, but changed her mind and admitted that she used the clients’ credit cards.
The suspect reportedly said the clients gave her their card numbers over the phone to pay for counseling services.
The woman was granted pretrial intervention. If she completes the ordered program successfully, she will not have to face criminal prosecution for theft by deception and unlawful use of credit cards.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a theft offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.