Star witness admits she stole $1 million from husband during cross-examination in psychic fraud trial
TAMPA, Fla. - Another twist came in the psychic fraud trial of Jaycee Wasso when the state’s star witness, Lin Halfon, admitted under cross-examination Thursday that she, not Wasso, is the one who stole $1 million from her wealthy older husband in 2019.
Prosecutors say Wasso, a self-proclaimed psychic, manipulated Halfon into stealing cash and jewelry from Halfon’s husband, Richard Rappapport, in order to chase away demons. They claim Halfon was under Wasso’s complete control.
"If she asked me, I’ll do whatever she asked me," Halfon told the jury.
But during a stinging coss-examination Thursday, Wasso’s attorney, Glen Lansky, painted a different picture.
Lin Halfon testifies in court against psychic she claims duped her into stealing $1 million from her husband.
During questioning, Halfon told the jury Wasso wasn’t just a psychic to her, she was like an angel brought to her to protect her from evil spirits.
"I was scared. She was protecting me from being attacked," explained Halfon.
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Lansky also got Halfon to concede that she’s the one who stole from Rappaport, not Wasso.
"You took all the money from Richard?" asked Lanksy.
"Yes," replied Halfon.
"Jaycee didn’t take one penny from Richard other than through you, correct?" asked Lansky.
"Correct," Halfon said.
Psychic Jaycee Wasso in court during fraud trial.
Lansky said rather than organizing an elaborate con job, Wasso simply provided a service for a fee – and that Halfon got what she paid for – protection from evil spirits.
"Did the evil Spirits come to harm you?" Lansky asked Halfon.
"No" she replied.
"And that’s what you paid her for, to keep the evil spirits away – yes or no?" questioned Lansky.
"Yes," Halfon agreed.
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Lin Halfon says she would have done anything Wasso asked of her.
Halfon also admitted she continued her relationship with Wasso though she could have ended it at any time.
"Who is the one person that could’ve put an end to all this? Asked Lansky.
"Me," said Halfon.
"And all you had to do is what? Block her number?" he asked.
"You’re right," replied Halfon.
On Wednesday, Halfon told the jury how she was tricked and manipulated, from the moment she first met Wasso.
Halfon said Wasso approached her while she worked at a Tampa mall and told her a family curse loomed over her.
"She said she feels a very bad energy from me, that this bad energy is a curse that comes from generation to generation," recalled Halfon.
Lin Halfon and husband Richard Rappaport.
Halfon said Wasso told her breaking the curse would require $4,000 in cash along with an unusual ceremony involving an egg. Describing the egg ceremony, Halfon said Wasso told her the family curse would be transferred to the egg, which Halfon would then crush.
Scared and desperate, Halfon said she agreed to the payment and the ceremony, but things didn’t end there. Halfon said the next two years saw a flurry of text messages from Wasso demanding more cash to chase away evil demons.
Eventually, she says, Wasso raised her price to $1 million. She said Wasso convinced her to lie and steal the money from Rappaport.
READ: Lawyer for psychic accused of conning woman into stealing $1 million from husband wants more evidence
Halfon headed to an Amscot with a $1 million check but was turned away twice. Investigators say Wasso then recruited her then-husband Joey Evans and his father John Evans to get the checks cashed in New Jersey.
Wasso's ex-husband Joey Evans, and his father John Evans.
During opening statements, Tuesday, Lansky, Wasso’s attorney, told the jury Wasso is taking the fall for Joey and John Evans. Lansky told the jury Wasso’s now-ex-husband Joey and his father used the money to buy lavish gifts, including designer items, jewelry and an exotic car.
Halfon took a plea deal and spent 13 months behind bars for stealing her husband’s money. She was then deported to Israel and her husband, Rappaport, divorced her in 2020.
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Wasso is charged with organized fraud and grand theft. Wasso’s ex-husband and father-in-law face federal charges of conspiracy to commit grand theft and three counts of grand theft from a person 65 years old or older.
Wasso’s trial is expected to wrap up Friday.