The only way an elderly man from the Jersey Shore could release himself from the torment of eight apparitions was to buy into 14 step program that cost $147,700.
Failure to do so would result in continued agony in this life and the next.
Or so he was told by a psychic from Galloway Township, New Jersey.
Galloway Township police said Sally Wando, who went by the name "Kim," duped the Ocean County man into thinking she could solve his otherworldly problems. But in reality, police said, she and her son stole that cash and filtered it into a car dealership.
The victim had been meeting with Wando, a 49-year-old Galloway Township resident, at Village Psychic in Smithville when she sold him the soul cleansing treatments, police said.
Wando told the man the first visit would cost $5,000 and then recommended he buy a 14 step Chakra program priced at $10,500 a level, according to police. In some religions, Chakras are believed to be energy sources within the human body.
Authorities said Wando used information from the man's unpleasant childhood to hook him on the program.
The victim was told to transfer the cash to Frank's Classic Carz in Ventnor City, a business that is owned by Wando's 24-year-old son, Frank Marco, police said. He instructed to tell the bank that the money was to buy a car and not Chakra treatments.
After the transfer, in mid-August, the man called police believing he'd been scammed.
When police questioned Wando and Marco, they said the money was to be used for a car purchase, police said. Those claims weren't substantiated and the pair were arrested.
Wando and Marco are charged with second degree theft by deception and third degree conspiracy. They were released.
A call to Wando's business went right to voicemail and the mailbox was closed. A message was left at the car dealership. It's not clear if either has retained legal counsel.
Police are concerned other people may have been scammed. They're asking anyone with information to call Detective Jason Kiamos at 609-652-3705 ext. 325.