A former Brazilian model faces jail after using false psychics to convince her rich mother her family heirlooms were haunted so she could make off with them.
Sabine Boghici, 48 is the daughter of a wealthy Brazilian art collector and used fake fortune tellers to pretend paintings were possessed.
Sabine was taken into custody in Rio de Janiero on Wednesday (August 10) after her mother Geneviève Boghici, the widow of the late Romanian art dealer Jean Boghici got wise to the scheme.
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She is now charged with stealing $140 million in fine art and jewellery and an undetermined amount of cash from her mother as well as embezzlement, extortion, and false imprisonment.
According to Brazillian news, Sabine’s hatred of her mother stemmed from the fact she had refused to buy a flat for her dogs when she was little.
Speaking to Reuters, Police chief Gilberto Ribeiro explained that Sabine began to steal the art in 2020 after firing her mother’s staff due to covid.
At this time, Sabine’s mother claims she once held a knife to her neck and threatened her.
Police say Sabine kept her mother imprisoned and once tried to starve her to death.
Finally Sabine convinced friends to act as psychics and allegedly accost her mother outside a bank.
There they said that reason Sabine had imprisoned her was due to demons in the family art collection which possessed her.
The fake spooks then visited the house and selected 16 troublesome paintings which they removed after making the mother pay thousands of dollars.
Police chief Gilberto Ribeiro said: “They took 16 paintings among them three pieces by modernist painter Tarsila do Amaral valued at $137.69 million.”
Sabine’s two psychic friends have been arrested on charges of complicity.
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