Man posing as faith healer steals $1 million

A self-proclaimed spiritual healer bilked at least $1 million (Ђ840,000) from 20 San Francisco Bay area residents then fled without fulfilling his promises to give out winning lottery numbers and heal their ailments, police said.

The man, who called himself "Iqbal," ran radio ads targeting South Asian clients on Radio Humsafar. He was described by police as an Indian man in his mid-30s who limped and recited passages from the Koran during healing sessions. He also claimed to practice black magic.

Victims were told they would win $1 million (Ђ840,000) in the California lottery for every $10,000 (Ђ8,354) they gave him, said Lt. Jim Bizieff.

The scam involved a magic trick in which Iqbal said he would pull winning lottery numbers from boiled eggs. At least 20 people gave him between $10,000 (Ђ8,354) and $200,000 (Ђ167,084) each, but the scam artist never delivered any winning numbers and left his rented Union City house in January, reports AP.


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