A web consultant was looking for love when he stumbled into the shop of a psychic.
Niall Rice made a fortune specializing in search engine optimization as a consultant. But even the money did not make him happy. In 2013, he visited a treatment clinic in Arizonaa to get help with his acute anxiety.
While in treatment, he fell for a fellow patient, Michelle. The pair decided not to pursue their relationship any further. But, this decision had a profound effect on Rice.
One day Rice wandered into a psychic’s shop on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The proprietor, Brandy, told Rice about his connection to his lost love. Brandy offered to reunite the pair and asked for $2,500 for the service. But the service fees quickly snowballed. By the end of the week, Rice had given the psychic $12,000.
Brandy did not manage to live up to her services. After disappointment, Rice found a new online psychic named Christina. Before he realized it, he had spent $90,000 on a “gold bridge” to help him connect with his lost love.
Unfortunately, the bridge did not lead to Michelle, who later died of a drug overdose.
After Michelle’s death, Christina insisted that she could find Rice a reincarnated Michelle.
Christina told Rice that she was homeless and broke. He sent her $100,000 to help her. At one point, the pair had a brief affair, which Rice admitted was a mistake.
But Rice began to realize that not all was as Christina made it seem. He began to suspect that he might be taken for a ride. Rice then hired a private investigator who discovered that Christina lied about her name and had been previously arrested.
Rice filed charges against the psychic in May.
Rice says he doesn’t understand how he gave his small fortune to a fortune teller. He told the New York Times that he is embarrassed about everything now. But he doesn’t want anyone else to go through what he went through.
By taking legal action and sharing his story, Rice hopes to prevent other people who just need a friend from falling prey to those who take their pain all the way to the bank.