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Press Release

South Florida Woman Sentenced to Prison and Ordered to Pay $1.6 Million in Restitution for “Fortune Telling” Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida

Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office announced that a South Florida woman was sentenced to prison and ordered to pay $1.6 million in restitution for orchestrating a fraud scheme involving “fortune telling.”   

Sherry Tina Uwanawich, a/k/a “Jacqueline Miller, 28, was sentenced on September 6, 2019, to 40 months’ incarceration by U.S. District Judge Rodolfo A. Ruiz (Case No. 18CR80235).    Uwanawich had previously pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. 

            According to the court docket, including the agreed upon factual proffer, the defendant was holding herself out as a psychic/fortune teller when she met a female victim in Houston, Texas in 2007.  Uwanawich gained the trust of the victim and convinced her that a curse had been placed on her and her family.  The defendant claimed she needed large sums of money to purchase items, such as crystals, candles and the like, which were needed for meditation work in order to lift the curse.  Failure to do so, the victim was led to believe, would result in harm to her and family.   The relationship between the victim and Uwanawich continued for years, even after the defendant had moved to South Florida, and during that time the victim was induced to give up approximately $1.6 million dollars.   The scheme came to an end in early 2014, when Uwanawich admitted to the victim there had been no curse. 

            U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of the FBI.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger H. Stefin.  

            Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on

Updated September 9, 2019