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Clairvoyant con: Scammer convicted of swindling $140,000 from Bensonhurst senior

Brooklyn Daily
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A Bensonhurst con artist who swindled an elderly woman out of $140,000 in cash and jewelry with an elaborate clairvoyant scam is going to prison for up to four and a half years, prosecutors announced on May 18.

The 44-year-old Bensonhurster Xuekun Su was part of a ring of scam artists referred to as the “blessing gang” who prey on superstitious Chinese immigrants. The conviction is a big win for those cracking down on the charlatans, said acting district attorney Eric Gonzalez.

“After targeting vulnerable immigrant women, this defendant stole the victim’s life savings by exploiting the fears and beliefs of the culture they shared,” said Gonzalez. “Her deplorable conduct more than merits the prison sentence.”

Su was sentenced to a year and half to four and a half years in prison after she plead guilty to grand larceny as a hate crime for targeting the victim based on her age and nationality.

The woman was one of a group of schemers who approached the 61-year-old Chinese immigrant last spring on Bay 22nd Street near 86th Street where she struck up a conversation with the victim — all while being dialed into partners on a concealed cellphone who listened in for key info.

Fellow hoaxers then appeared with a vision of impending doom for a family member — whose name was known thanks to that cellphone — that could only be avoided by the woman if she placed cash and jewelry into a bag to be “blessed.”

The tricksters assured the woman that the blessing would remove evil spirits plaguing her family, promising the items would be returned. But instead they fled with $140,000 worth of cash and jewels, officials said.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Posted 12:00 am, May 19, 2017
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