Published: Sep 01, 2011 8:01 PM EDT

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - Rose Marks and her family of fortunetellers offered hope. Prosecutors say it came with a steep price.
The Florida family claimed to confer with gods, spirits and even Michael the Archangel to cure diseases and break curses, asking for and accepting jewelry, gold coins and luxury cars in return.
In all, authorities say, the family amassed a $40 million fortune from a psychic scam dating back 20 years. The victims included a best-selling author who gave $20 million.
Marks, 60, and eight family members pleaded not guilty last week. Their lawyers said they believe their Gypsy religion gave them the ability to heal psychically and that business was legitimate.

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