Lot-et-Garonne: clairvoyance scammers did not predict that they would end up in prison

They were eight in all to be prosecuted on Wednesday June 22 for having, between 2013 and 2018, deceived individuals and having been given funds in return for these telephone consultations, but also for having concealed the proceeds of their scam, carried out these activities without declaration, or even for some of them, having sold merchandise from donations, under the guise of a charity association (read elsewhere).

At the helm, only seven defendants showed up. Alexis François, the head of the network, did not come. “A regrettable, but not surprising absence”, underlines the deputy prosecutor Sophie Noël, who describes the respondent as an unscrupulous crook, without empathy, who “has made human misery his business”. In total, justice estimates a benefit of 260,000 euros for this family with these consultations which were not.

“cash cows”

Clairvoyance was initially the niche of his partner, who opened no less than 28 telephone lines and several websites from her home in Villeneuvois. His children participate in this business which could not be more lucrative. All are encouraged to work from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. But none have real gifts of clairvoyance. They just use tricks and schemes. “It’s not clairvoyance, and fortunately, because we wouldn’t be able to do it,” slips Malika to one of her sons on the phone. “You have to tell them what they want to hear. “A conversation known thanks to the thousands of hours of listening carried out by the investigators.

He promises “child cleanings” to in-laws. He will make certain victims believe that they have black magic on them.

Over these fadettes, we discover the mockery, the manipulations of the whole family. Malika’s daughter, “her right arm”, explains in particular how to proceed to “do without a client”, whom we will call Sabine. “She’s crazy enough to call and piss everyone off.” It’s a cash cow! Regularly, they qualify their customers as “crazy”. ” I have plenty of them. We send them crazy. I like them. »

“We take the weakest”

Alas, Sabine, like many of their defrauded interlocutors, had a fragile personality. She was recently widowed. “We take the weakest, we make them pass and behind we make fun”, pleads Me Sylvie Brussiau who defends two victims. One paid the family nearly 6,000 euros, the other 30,000 euros… The latter, whom we will call Hélène, “was entitled to everything”. “Alone, single and disabled, she was under the yoke of Alexis François who advised her under cover of multiple pseudonyms. He spoke to her with a Canadian accent. Then called her back a few minutes later with a Belgian accent, under another identity. And everyone was almost amused. “SMS where we find “mdr”, “lol”, there are plenty of them”, laments Me Brussiau.

Worse, Alexis François and his multiple characters go very far. “He promises ‘child cleanings’ to in-laws. He will make certain victims believe that they have black magic on them, that they have the evil eye… He sends half-empty vials of liquid for thousands of euros to mix with other substances. “And, in a context of great vulnerability, “they pay again and again”, storm Sophie Noël who requested prison sentences with a warrant for six members of this organized gang.

No regrets

Alexis François was sentenced to 5 years in prison, one year of which was suspended for three years. With money order. Malika Larbatmi was sentenced to 4 years including one year suspended probation for 3 years. At the hearing, surrounded by her children, she shakes her head. If, in the end, they may not have gifts for clairvoyance, one defends himself at the bar and says he has mastered fortune-telling, the other still numerology. Customers ? “We had a lot of affection for them,” stammers Malika and her daughter. Me Sylvie Brussiau, she noted “no regrets” throughout this trial.

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Lot-et-Garonne: clairvoyance scammers did not predict that they would end up in prison

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