Woman used a psychic to scam her mother out of $140 million artwork by convincing her it was cursed – SCREENSHOT Media

Woman used a psychic to scam her mother out of $140 million artwork by convincing her it was cursed

By Sam Wareing

Published Aug 11, 2022 at 12:04 PM

Reading time: 1 minute

A woman in Brazil has been arrested for allegedly using a psychic to swindle her mother out of $140 million (£114 million) worth of painting, cash and jewellery.

The victim—Genevieve Boghici, widow of one of Brazil’s top art collectors—was convinced by a psychic hired by her own daughter that the collection was cursed. One of the paintings by famous Brazilian artist Tarsila do Amaral was reportedly found stashed under a bed.

According to Rio de Janeiro police, the scam began in 2020 and was reported by local media outlets at the time. The widow was told by the psychic that her daughter was very ill, and persuaded her to pay for treatment.

In the following months, her daughter Sabin Coll Boghici and supposed psychic accomplice “began to take the artwork from the [mother’s] house, claiming that the painting was cursed with something negative, with negative energy that needed to be prayed over,” Rio de Janeiro police officer Gilberto Ribeiro told Reuters.

The scam went on to involve six other people, four of whom have been arrested. The remaining two are currently on the run.

Genevieve was said to have been physically threatened by the suspects and was kept at home for months by her daughter. After almost a year of harassment and mistreatment by the scammers, the widow decided she’d had enough and went to the police.

Officials reported that 16 paintings were stolen in total, with some curated by renowned Brazilian artists such as Cicero Dias, Rubens Gerchman and Alberto Guignard. Three pieces from the aforementioned modernist painter Amaral were also stolen, and were estimated to be worth $137.69 million (£112.80 million).

11 of the 16 paintings were recovered from one of the suspects’ homes in Rio de Janeiro and three more have been found in São Paulo. Two were sold to a museum in Buenos Aires, however, and have yet to be returned.

Police reported that the seven people involved in the crime face charges of embezzlement, robbery, extortion, false imprisonment and criminal association.

Keep On Reading

By Jennifer Raymont

Like mother, like daughter: Is Blue Ivy already leading the next generation of it girls?

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

School uniforms to go gender-neutral across the UK through new ABC system

By Charlie Sawyer

What is inflation, and how is it impacting gen Z?

By Louis Shankar

What is a zillennial? Confessions and insights of a cusp generation baby

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

From Bunga Bunga to a political awakening: Gen Z’s real talk on Silvio Berlusconi’s government

By Charlie Sawyer

Going Viral for Good: Meet Ever, the topless activist who interrupted Avril Lavigne on stage

By Charlie Sawyer

Theatre Camp review: A love letter to kids who loved Glee, The Tonys, and all things camp

By Bianca Borissova

How stan culture is turning manic pixie dream boy Timothée Chalamet’s fans into misogynistic haters

By Jennifer Raymont

Sydney Sweeney and Scarlett Johansson are the latest celebs to jump on the exposed bra trend

By Charlie Sawyer

Unpacking why TikTok has labelled Disney’s reworked Snow White live-action film as unfeminist

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

6 things you need to know about the Maui wildfires and how to help

By Jennifer Raymont

Get the look: Get match ready with these 6 blokecore must-haves

By Charlie Sawyer

I spent a day on the Chinese version of TikTok Douyin and I was surprised by what I found

By Mason Berlinka

Laura Dale on how the Access-Ability Summer Showcase 2023 will put disabled gamers first

By Charlie Sawyer

Weekly roundup: Black Mirror receives mixed reviews and Ezra Miller attends The Flash premiere

By Charlie Sawyer

The corrupt cozzie livs: Labour MP Nadia Whittome breaks down cost of living crisis’ impact on gen Z

By Jennifer Raymont

Lily-Rose Depp channels sexy sleaze in HBO’s The Idol: A portrayal of indie sleaze’s sultry side

By Alma Fabiani

Johnny Depp signs biggest men’s fragrance deal ever with Dior worth $20 million

By Jennifer Raymont

Master the viral coastal cowgirl TikTok aesthetic with these 5 fashion staples

By Charlie Sawyer

UK government makes shocking U-turn on single-sex bathroom policy