Stacy Caputo says she gave a South Florida "psychic" more than $2 million over a five-year period and doubts that she will ever get any of that money back.
Caputo said she believed for a long time that the psychic, a woman known as Tiffany Ava Mitchell, was giving the money to God and to charities as part of a mission to clear "negativity" and "bad energy" from Caputo's life.
Mitchell seemed to be a quiet, churchgoing young woman who was financially struggling to raise two young children with her husband, Caputo said, and the women talked about scriptures at Mitchell's storefront psychic businesses in Palm Beach and West Palm Beach and by the pool near Mitchell's cramped apartment.
Caputo said she was shocked when she saw the woman she knew as "Ava" on a celebrity gossip TV show in November 2012. Mitchell, clasping a Louis Vuitton bag, was surrounded by paparazzi as she accused troubled celebrity Lindsay Lohan of slugging her in a hip nightclub in Manhattan. Police later said video footage revealed no assault.
Caputo, who lives in Connecticut, said that's when she began to doubt Mitchell and question if her money was really going to charity. Mitchell wouldn't answer her questions, she said.
"I started asking her for receipts," said Caputo, now 45. " 'Show me what you did with the money' — I really thought there would be a homeless shelter with my name over the door. … She just said she had to pray on it, but she never gave me any receipts and she never explained where the money went."
Caputo first reported her concerns to the Palm Beach Police Department, but Detective Keith Medeiros said Monday that he sent her to West Palm Beach police because the financial transactions allegedly took place there.
Caputo said West Palm Beach detectives later told her that her allegations were too weak to file criminal charges, but she hopes her story might encourage other people to come forward if they believe they were misled.
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