Jaycee Wasso, 25, was convicted Friday for helping Lin Helena Halfon, 29, cheat Florida businessman Richard Rappaport, 80, out of his money. Though acquitted of four counts of theft, she was found guilty of organized fraud, conspiracy to commit grand theft of property, structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements, and six other counts of theft.
Halfon met Wasso when living and working in Massachuseetts, prosecutors said. Authorities said that Wasso, a self-professed psychic, exhibited considerable control over her, asserting that she could feel “darkness” from Halfon and that a curse was going through generations of the woman’s family.
“Lin, the spirits want me to tell you what’s going on,” the defendant once said, according to authorities. “Your mother is going to die. You’re going to lose everything. You’re going to be sent away. You are going into darkness. Darkness is going to possess you.”
Under Wasso’s sway, Halfon told her about meeting Rappaport. With Wasso’s encouragement, she married him.
“Lin, give it your all,” Wasso said in August 2018. “Act like he is your soulmate.”
Rappaport fell head over heels for Halfon, said prosecutor Paul Dontenville Jr., who described this as a “very good friendship” that resulted in Rappaport marrying the Israel-born Halfon so she could stay in the United States.
The prosecutor told jurors that evidence would show that Wasso kept pushing when Halfon expressed second thoughts about manipulating Rappaport.
“It offends me that you want to go against all the work I’ve done,” the psychic allegedly wrote in July 2018. “I know what I’m doing, Lin.”
From December 2018, when Wasso threatened to stop “working,” prosecutors said:
HALFON: “No, I don’t want you to do that.”
WASSO: “And watch what happens when I stop.”
HALFON: “The work comes first.”
It all came crashing down after Halfon successfully attempted to process a $1 million cashier’s check at an Amscot in Tampa, Florida, but suspicious employees refused to take it because it was in Rappaport’s name and he was not there.
Halfon pleaded guilty to her role in the case and testified against Wasso.
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