TAMPA, Fla. - In January, Lin Halfon took a plea deal. The flashy headlines called her a gold digger.
At 78, Tampa businessman Richard Rappaport was 50 years older than Halfon when the two secretly tied the knot, but what no one knew was their marriage was a bit crowded.
Someone else was sharing in the wedding bliss, explained her attorney.
"There are a lot of tricky people out there that will go to any means to separate individuals from their money," Todd Foster said.
Foster says his client was under the spell of a psychic,
"She was manipulated to believe that if she didn't provide all this money, terrible things would happen to her and her family," explained Foster.
Diane Croff, the statewide prosecutor for the Florida Attorney General's Office, says the scare tactics started almost immediately, with the psychic telling Halfon she could "ward off evil spirits and negative energy in exchange for cash payments."
The psychic pushed Halfon to find a rich soulmate. She would find both in Rappaport. After they married, the cash and jewelry followed.
"Ms. Halfon used this money to pay the psychic for the work that the psychic was performing from Ms. Halfon," explained Croff.
But the psychic wanted more.
Halfon began making up stories to get more money from Rappaport. Halfon told Rappaport her mother had cancer and her father was in debt and they needed help, so Rappaport kept cutting checks.
"Over a period of months, Ms. Halfon paid increasing amounts of money to this psychic for her work that she performed," Croff said.
But the biggest check came months later when Halfon asked for a million dollars to buy an apartment.
Rappaport handed her a million-dollar cashier’s check, which she took to Amscot, but employees there refused to cash it.
She split the money into three checks, but that made Rappaport uncomfortable and wanted the checks back.
"Instead Ms. Halfon provided the three checks along with her identification information and out of the victim to the psychic in order for the psychic and a third individual to cash the three checks in a check-cashing store in New Jersey," Croff explained.
By then, the gig was up. Halfon was arrested at the airport when she returned from New Jersey.
Halfon was duped by a psychic and left holding the bag.
She pleaded guilty to exploitation of the elderly and organized fraud and agreed to time served as well as being deported to Israel.
The psychic hasn't been charged and is still free, for now. Although Foster says she will return if prosecutors need her cooperation in the case.
"I do believe Lin will come back to testify against anybody that the state wants her to testify against," said Foster.
The case remains active and more arrests could come at any time.