Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies are looking for anyone who might have been a victim of grand theft after a woman was arrested last month for allegedly pretending to be a healer and stealing $450,000 from a Cupertino resident. Former Bay Area resident Peaches Marks, 43, was arrested March 27 in Anaheim. She was extradited to Santa Clara County, where a warrant had been issued for her arrest after she posed as a spiritual mentor and college professor and took money from a victim. “When the victim was dealing with Marks, she had actually seen the suspect associating with other people,” Santa Clara County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Rick Sung said. “Based on that information, we believe there are possibly more victims out there.” On Dec. 5, 2008, a Cupertino woman called sheriff’s deputies and reported Marks had stolen more than $450,000 from her between June 2003 and June 2005, Sung said. In 2003, Marks had put an advertisement in a Chinese newspaper and offered spiritual services to lonely and depressed people, the victim said. The victim had recently gone through a contentious divorce and responded to the ad in June. The victim then met with Marks, who introduced herself as “Anna Marks” and claimed to be a college professor and healer, Sung said. Marks prayed for the victim and said she could heal the woman faster if she bought gold heart talismans, which would be kept in a secret temple. Marks said she would return the hearts once the victim was healed, Sung said. The victim gave Marks about $450,000 before becoming financially drained in 2005 and asking Marks to return her money. Marks avoided contact with the victim for three years and finally disappeared in late 2008. After the victim contacted the sheriff’s office in 2008, detectives discovered Marks had connections to New Jersey, New York, Florida, Las Vegas and Arizona. Working with law enforcement officials out of state, the detectives were able to identify Marks’s mode of operation, Sung said. In 2009, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office issued a $500,000 warrant for Marks’s arrest. She was stopped for a traffic violation March 27 and arrested for grand theft and identity theft. Although she did not take on the victim’ identity, she used information about the victim to rob her, Sung said. Using a person’s identity to rob them is considered identity theft. The sheriff’s office believes Marks could have robbed other members of the community. The sheriff’s office believes Marks could have robbed other members of the community and asks any other potential victims to call Detective Kristine Anderson at (408) 808-4431.
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