Va. Fortune-telling Family Faces Fraud Charges

August 16, 2010

A Virginia family considered pioneers in their region's fortune-telling industry is weathering federal insurance fraud charges against several of its members.

A U.S. District Court indictment alleges six people including Mitchell Marks, his girlfriend, his two sons and brother Steven Marks conspired to steal $16 million from life insurance companies.

Federal prosecutors say the scam involved policies obtained after healthy impostors stood in for older, sick family members and friends during the necessary medical exams.

Marks family members have operated as fortune-tellers in southeastern Virginia for decades. Some of the defendants allege that while they may be able to read palms and tarot cards, they're illiterate when it comes to insurance policies.

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