A Lafayette psychic accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from clients by convincing them that "money is evil" checked into Denver's Rose Medical Center at 5 a.m. Monday morning and missed what was supposed to be the first day of her criminal trial on theft and tax evasion charges.
Boulder District Judge Thomas Mulvahill this afternoon issued a warrant for the arrest of Nancy Marks, 55, for failure to appear, but stayed the warrant until Oct. 25, when a hearing is scheduled to determine whether she had a legitimate medical issue.
Marks' trial, which was to last all week and for which witnesses had flown in from out of state, has not been rescheduled yet.
Prosecutors said Marks' actions raise red flags. In a motion seeking a warrant for Marks' arrest, Deputy District Attorney Michael Foote said that a GPS monitoring device that Marks wears shows that she spent Sunday going to church, running errands and going out to eat.
She checked into North Suburban Medical Center in Thornton at 9:30 p.m. Sunday and was released at 3 a.m. Monday. She stayed at home for two hours, then drove past seven closer hospitals to go to Rose Medical Center in Denver.
Foote said in the motion that Marks tried to claim health problems prevented her from wearing the monitoring device, a claim that was later disproved, and that she tried to use health problems as an excuse to avoid paying back her victims.
"It is clear that Ms. Marks is using a purported medical condition to delay her trial in this case," the motion states.
Defense attorney Ingrid DeFranco said Marks' symptoms include high-blood pressure, shortness of breath and nausea, and her doctor said they could be stress-related. DeFranco said she did not know why Marks went to Rose, but said she knew that Marks' primary care physician has admitting privileges there.
Regardless of her past claims, doctors and nurses at Rose saw reason to admit her, and she is scheduled for tests Tuesday, DeFranco said.
When DeFranco announced this morning that Marks was in the hospital, members of the prosecution team rolled their eyes.
Foote said in court he had predicted on Friday that Marks would use a medical excuse to delay her trial, and such excuses are common among people accused of "fortune-telling fraud and confidence crimes."
DeFranco said Marks has been hospitalized three times this year, and she is helping Marks' family file for bankruptcy largely on the basis of her medical bills.
This afternoon, Mulvahill said he understood the prosecution's suspicions, but he wanted to see evidence about Marks' medical condition. He turned down a prosecution request to see Marks' medical records but told DeFranco to tell Marks to bring her discharge papers and any other verification of her condition with her to court on Oct. 25.
If Mulvahill doesn't believe Marks was really sick, she could be taken into custody and held on $500,000 bond.
Marks, who owned Psychic Reading, 707 S. Public Road, is accused of 14 counts of theft and two counts of tax evasion. An earlier version of this story contained outdated information about the charges.
According to police and court records, seven victims told police that Marks said she needed their cash to "draw out the bad energy" and their credit card numbers to see how frequently the number 6 appeared. Marks then refused to return the cash and used the credit cards to make purchases at Macy's, Target and Sears, the police report said.
Marks is accused of stealing almost $300,000.