CRESTLINE—A psychic who promised to remove the spirit of a dead person from a woman if she was paid $9,003.69 was arrested and jailed Friday for embezzlement.
According to a press release distributed Tuesday by deputies at the Twin Peaks sheriff’s station, Cindy S. Uwanawich, 56, who is also known as Cindy McKinney, was taken into custody at her Lake Drive business and booked at West Valley Detention Center for embezzlement.
Jail records say Uwanawich was also booked for grand theft of more than $950. She was released at 12:40 a.m. the following day. No charges had been filed against her as of Wednesday morning, court records show.
The release says Uwanawich runs a storefront business called The Psychic Door, located at 23872 Lake Drive.
Her victim, an unidentified woman, made an appointment for two psychic readings, which the release says occurred at Uwanawich’s home. The victim reportedly paid $50 apiece for the readings.
On Dec. 17, the release says, Uwanawich told the victim she had the spirit of a person who had drowned attached to her. The spirit would be removed, Uwanawich reportedly said, if the woman gave her nine pennies, nine nickels, nine dimes, nine quarters and $9,000 for nine days.
The release says Uwanawich promised to return the funds, but after the victim handed over what deputies described as “a large sum of cash,” no money was refunded. After the nine days had passed without a refund, Sheriff’s Capt. Rick Ells said, the victim notified authorities.
Twin Peaks Detective Scott Thies arrested Uwanawich at 11:45 a.m. on Friday.
Ells said another issue confronting Uwanawich may be her lack of a needed business license to operate The Psychic Door. County spokesman David Wert said San Bernardino County does not require business licenses be issued to most businesses, though there are certain exceptions.
Such licenses are issued through the office of the clerk of the board of supervisors. The county’s website lists a total of 16 businesses—including fortune telling, adult businesses, pool halls, bingo games, pawnbrokers and massage technicians—that require a current, valid business license in addition to any other permits the county may require.
Wert confirmed for this newspaper on Wednesday that Uwanawich’s business does not have the needed county business license.