RIVERSIDE, Calif. (TCD) -- A 31-year-old self-proclaimed fortune-teller was taken into custody after a woman allegedly paid him tens of thousands of dollars to rid herself of a curse and parasites.
According to a Riverside Police Department news release, an unnamed female sought out the services of "Carlos" to get her fortune read over the summer on the 3500 block of Arlington Avenue. Carlos, whose real name is Andres Pena Meneses, reportedly informed the woman she had parasites, so she paid him "several hundred dollars" to have him help her get rid of them.
Riverside Police said Meneses spoke with the woman again and told her she and her family — including her children — were cursed. He allegedly told her he "needed more money to rid her of it." The woman paid him over $50,000 in total.
On Oct. 26, detectives from the Economic Crimes Unit and Property Crimes Unit obtained a search warrant for his home and business. During their search, detectives reportedly found a large amount of cash, a voodoo doll, tarot cards, an altar, "religious and satanic type objects," and a snake.
According to the news release, some of his customers reportedly showed up at his business and informed detectives Meneses often asked people to bring their mattresses to his store. Meneses and his fellow staff members would allegedly "cut open the mattress and claim to have found the live snake inside with demonic type items and letters stating the victims' family was in danger."
These former customers informed detectives Meneses told them he could cure them of diabetes, sleep disorders, nightmares, and headaches.
Riverside Police said Meneses was convicted in 2019 in Chicago for fraud. He allegedly said he was a "faith healer" and stole money from customers.
Meneses was booked into the Riverside County Jail on charges of grand theft and theft by false pretenses on Oct. 26. According to jail records, he was released on bail the same day.