10/19/2017 - OKC, OK -- (as originally published in the Times Record at swtimes.com)
OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma City psychic charged with fortune telling for a fee has pleaded guilty in her uncommon case.
Sonia Lisa Marks, 53, admitted she “did a fortune telling and obtained money for it.” Fortune telling for a fee has been illegal in Oklahoma since 1915 but the law is rarely enforced.
Marks was charged last year in Oklahoma County District Court, accused of illegally operating “Mrs. Maples Psychic Reader” at 4445 SW 33. She pleaded guilty Tuesday to obtaining money by false pretenses and to the fortune-telling offense, both misdemeanors.
As part of a plea agreement, Marks was sentenced to 18 months probation. She also was ordered to pay $100 in fines and $345 in restitution to the Oklahoma City Police Department.
In August 2016, an undercover police officer went to the fortune-telling business and paid $60 for a palm and tarot card reading, police reported in a court affidavit. Marks told the female officer she would have twins, according to the affidavit. The entire reading lasted about six minutes, police reported.
A couple days later, an undercover detective paid $80 for a “tarot and full psychic” reading, police reported. Marks told the detective she would meet “the right man” in October 2016. After the reading, Marks told the detective “she would not be happy until she had her aura cleansed” for $125 more, according to the affidavit.
After paying, the detective told Marks a fictional story about meeting a man, police reported. Marks said, “He is the one,” and offered to confirm the man was the detective’s soul mate for an additional $80, police reported.
Marks was later arrested and charged.
Oklahoma law makes it a misdemeanor to either pretend or profess to tell fortunes for a charge or to receive any gift or donation. The maximum punishment for fortune telling is six months in jail and a $500 fine. At least one other person has been prosecuted in Oklahoma County since 1992, records show.
Defense attorney Scott Adams said Marks was “targeted” because of her past.
In 1994, Marks left Ohio after being charged with theft offenses, records show. She was accused of conning about a dozen fortune-telling clients out of as much as a million dollars, according to news accounts.
In late 2014, Marks was arrested in Oklahoma City and extradited to Ohio. She was convicted of theft offenses in 2015 in Ohio, records show. Oklahoma City police reported she was ordered to pay $187,000 in restitution.
Marks then moved back to Oklahoma City. During a visit from a probation officer in July 2016, the fortune-telling business was discovered in her home’s converted garage, police reported.
Adams said Marks has no desire to get back into fortune telling and is ready to get this behind her.
“She’s happy with the result. She wants to get on with her life,” the defense attorney said.