HOLLYWOOD─Burglary/Theft detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Area is asking for individuals who may have been victimized by Leslie Lee to come forward. Lee was arrested by authorities for Grand Theft, after operating a psychic reading business in Culver City. She met a victim, a Hollywood resident, several years ago, and during 8 years gained the victim’s trust and claimed the victim was afflicted with negative energy that was adversely impacting her life.
According to the LAPD, Lee “verified” the extent of the curse through a ritual involving eggs, and required large sums of money to be given to her to further the “curse removal work.” The suspect told the victim the money would ultimately be returned to her, but this never occurred. Detectives have spoken to two other victims with similar incidents and believe more victims may be out there.
The LAPD is warning the public that such scams are common and target emotionally, physically and spiritually vulnerable victims. The scams involve eggs and/or bananas to determine the extent of a curse, and a promise to return any money or valuables the victim may provide the suspect. Victims are reluctant to report these incidents out of embarrassment and fear of being ostracized and scorned by their friends and family.
Authorities are asking anyone who may have been a victim of this scam, or similar scams involving fortune tellers, or if they have additional information to call Hollywood Burglary Detective Patrick Aluotto at (213) 972-2929. Detective Aluotto can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. During non-business hours, or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).
Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu. Tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.