Judge will consider bond for psychic

Sandra Marks’ psychic reading business on Seminole Trail was raided in June 2014, and she was arrested a year later in New York.
Staff photo Sandra Marks’ psychic reading business on Seminole Trail was raided in June 2014, and she was arrested a year later in New York. Staff photo

Sandra Marks, aka Psychic Catherine and Catherine Marks, had a bond hearing October 22 in U.S. District Court and Judge Glen Conrad said he would consider it if she and her attorney can come up with an acceptable plan for her release.

Marks, 41, has been in jail since her July 23 arrest in New York for 34 counts of fraud—31 wire fraud, two mail fraud and one money laundering—and is accused of bilking clients for more than $3.5 million. She’s now being held at Central Virginia Regional Jail.

At an August 28 hearing in New York, the judge denied bond, citing concerns that she was a flight risk because she left Charlottesville right after a raid on her Seminole Trail place of business in June 2014, and because of missing funds.

A motion filed by her Richmond lawyer, Bill Dinkins, says Marks does not meet any of six conditions that must be met to deny bond: She’s not charged with a violent crime and facing life imprisonment or death; she’s not charged with a crime under the Controlled Substances Act; she’s not previously been convicted of those crimes; she’s not charged with a crime involving a minor victim, firearm or dangerous weapon, and she’s not charged with failing to register as a sex offender.

Dinkins also argues that she doesn’t meet the sixth condition—a serious risk of flight—because when she left Charlottesville, she had not been indicted, was living openly with her family in Georgia in a house titled in her husband’s name and she used bank accounts, credit cards and cell phone service in her own name. Nor did she attempt to conceal her identity when her family moved to New York in December 2014, says the motion.

Her husband, Donnie Marks, now lives in Richmond and works for a cab company and sells scrap metal, according to the motion.

In court, how much bond Marks would need to put up was not discussed, says U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson Brian McGinn. “The judge left the door open for bond,” says McGinn.

“Most certainly a plan is in the works,” says Dinkins. “First we’ve got to raise an adequate amount of money for her bond.” He declined to specify what that amount might be.

Marks’ incarceration has been “tough,” says her attorney. “She’s never been incarcerated before, she’s never been charged before. It’s a shock.”

According to the indictment, some of Marks’ victims came to her business for palm readings, candle readings, tarot card readings, astrological readings and spiritual readings, and often they’d suffered traumatic events and were “emotionally vulnerable, fragile and/or gullible.” She met others at the Synchronicity Foundation for Modern Spirituality in Nelson County, where she was an outside consultant, according to the foundation.

Marks would tell her alleged victims they were under a curse and “dark cloud,” according to the indictment, and to be healed, they had to sacrifice cash and jewelry, which she would cleanse through prayer, meditation and ritual.


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