All sorts of fraud related crimes are surfacing these days and it seems like there is no end to the ways certain people find means to commit fraud. Fraudsters come in all shapes, sizes, and forms…some would even pretend that they have some out of this world capabilities just to get you to trust them! Such might be what transpired in the case of an alleged psychic who was charged with witchcraft. After all, he was able to extort $100K from his unknowing victim.
Arrested and Charged
Murali Muthyalu was recently arrested and was charged with fraud over $5,000, extortion, and pretending to practice witchcraft after authorities identified him as the person responsible for defrauding a Brampton man out of more than $100,000.
Muthyalu, 37, from India was charged by the police with pretending to practice witchcraft after they compiled reports from a Brampton man who was allegedly duped out of $100,000 in fake exorcism fees. The fees were for the exorcism of a sick relative whom the fake psychic identified as a victim of an evil spirit.
Muthyalu was identified by the police as the same person as one “Master Raghav”, a psychic and astrologer who claimed to be visiting from India and living in Toronto. The fake psychic handed out business cards at a mall around February and March in the west-end area of Rexdale.
The 44-year-old Brampton man happened to come across one of the psychic’s business cards advertising certain services. He called the number on the card, set an appointment, and was told that his ill family member had been the unknowing victim of an evil spirit.
Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu shared that the card and the initial appointment (which goes for a mere $20) was a lure. The initial psychic reading goes for only $20 and so it is easy for someone to fall victim to it.
The police shared that the psychic convinced the Brampton man to withdraw $101,000 from the bank as payment for the psychic’s attempt to extract the evil spirit was supposedly in the man’s relative.
As a result of all of the above, Murali Muthyalu was arrested, charged with fraud over $5,000, extortion, and pretending to be knowledgeable in witchcraft.
Still a Crime
While witchcraft may seem like an outdated reason for someone to be arrested for these days, the charge pretending to practice witchcraft is defined by the Criminal Code as an action where anyone pretends to use or exercise sorcery, conjuration, witchcraft, or enchantment. It is likewise applicable for anyone who pretends to have knowledge of a crafty science or the occult to find or discover something stolen or lost and also covers those who attempt to tell fortunes.
Const. Sidhu shared that the alleged victim reported the incident to the authorities when the exorcism turned out unsuccessful. She also shared that the victim may have been acting out of concern for the sick family member and hence was chanced upon by the alleged fraudster when he was very susceptible to being influenced to do something out of the norm.
The police handling this case are urging everyone who’ve dealt with “Master Raghav” or Muthyalu to come forward and contact the police at 416-808-5500 or contact the Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).
Not sure if someone you’re talking to is who he or she is claiming to be? Our private investigators are here to help! Contact us at Haywood Hunt for an initial consultation so we can determine if there’s indeed something that needs to be uncovered.