Nancy Williams: Police said
she told victims they were cursed.
in swindle of women
Police say the scam took thousandsBy Jaymes Song
from islanders and Japanese tourists
Police are seeking victims of a woman who claimed to be a psychic and allegedly swindled thousands of dollars from Japanese tourists and Japanese-American women during the holiday season.
Nancy Williams, who goes by "Eyara" or Patricia Ann Perez, was arrested this week at Honolulu Airport on an airplane headed for Los Angeles. She was charged with second-degree theft and is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Williams, 44, is accused of conducting the scam at the Pearlridge, Kahala and Ala Moana shopping centers, said Detective Derrick Kiyotoki of the theft detail.
Police said Williams told victims they were cursed and would live a very unhappy life. She also told them one of their family members would develop a terminal illness because of the curse.
"It's a typical, gypsy-type scam," Kiyotoki said. "It's theft by deception."
Police said Williams then claimed she had powers to alleviate the curse. After the first psychic reading of $10 to $40, she charged victims thousands of dollars for a ritual to remove the curse, police said. Williams would charge thousands more for follow-up meetings.
One customer paid $3,000 for a follow-up meeting after Williams had asked for $9,000, police said.
The women were told to bring fruit and a substantial amount of money to a Kahala Avenue apartment, where Williams conducted a ceremony to remove the curse, Kiyotoki said.
She would cover the fruit with a handkerchief and rub it on the customer, Kiyotoki said.
Then she would make a worm appear and tell the woman it came out of her body.
During the rituals, Williams would learn about the financial status of the victims by inquiring about their jobs and bank accounts.
Police did not find a large sum of money when Williams was apprehended. Detectives believe she wired money to the mainland.
Williams, who has no local address, told police she lives in West Virginia.
According to police records, she has a previous arrest on the mainland for a crime related to fortunetelling.
Three people have come forward so far, but police believe there could be dozens of victims.
"She preyed on Asian women who were vulnerable," Kiyotoki said.
Officials at JTB Hawaii Inc., part of Japan's largest travel agency, said they were not aware of the crimes.
Kiyotoki advised being "very skeptical" of people who claim to be psychics and make approaches in public.
"When money is discussed, that should be a clue, and bells should go off," he said.
According to the FBI, crimes of this type are not rare.
"Avoid any situation that sounds too good to be true," said FBI agent John Gillis.
Victims are asked to call detectives at 529-3369 or 529-3853.