Scammer claimed to be a psychic, witch and Irish heiress, victims say as she faces extradition to UK

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Scammer Facing Extradition for Decade-Long Con

Marianne Smyth, accused of orchestrating a scam spanning over 15 years in Northern Ireland, is now facing extradition to the United Kingdom. Smyth allegedly defrauded at least five victims of over $170,000 between 2008 and 2010.

Similar to the infamous case of Anna Sorokin in New York, Smyth’s schemes have drawn attention for their complexity and audacity. Her alleged tactics involved elaborate stories and constantly changing her appearance to deceive her targets.

One victim, Johnathan Walton, took action against Smyth by launching a podcast titled “Queen of the Con” in 2021, aiming to alert others to her deceptive practices. Walton himself claims to have been swindled out of nearly $100,000 by Smyth.

Smyth’s fabricated narratives often included tales of frozen bank accounts and urgent needs for bail money. She purported to be an heiress from Ireland, weaving intricate stories about her wealthy family and claiming inheritance sums as high as $7 million.

Victims scattered across the United States, from California to New York, have shared their experiences of Smyth’s deceitful tactics. Among the falsehoods she purported were affiliations with satanic emissaries, witchcraft, and even friendship with celebrities like Jennifer Aniston.

Heather Sladinski, a resident of Los Angeles, recounted losing $20,000 to Smyth through various deceptive services, including psychic readings and fake life coaching sessions. Smyth’s manipulation extended to organizing cult-like retreats involving rituals and yoga.

Tess Cacciatore, owner of a production company and nonprofit charity, encountered Smyth in 2016. Smyth allegedly spun tales of terminal illness and impending inheritances worth millions, even presenting forged emails from Jennifer Aniston.

In addition to her activities in the United States, Smyth faces accusations in Northern Ireland of misappropriating funds promised for investment and duping victims into purchasing non-existent properties.

As Smyth awaits her extradition hearing, authorities are piecing together the extent of her alleged fraudulent activities, underscoring the need for vigilance against sophisticated scams targeting vulnerable individuals.

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