Psychic pleads guilty in duping of timber heir

AP News
Posted: Oct 15, 2014 8:25 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A psychic has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax charges after authorities said she duped the heir to an Oregon timber fortune of millions of dollars and used some of it to travel with her boyfriend and buy expensive cars.

Rachel Lee, 43, entered her plea on Tuesday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering as well as failing to file personal income taxes.

Lee operated psychic shops in Bend, Canby, St. Helens and Portland, but court documents show she didn't use that skill to separate Ralph Raines Jr. from his money.

Raines, now 67, met Lee in 2004 when he was living with his father on a 1,200-acre tree farm west of Portland while the father was in declining health due to a stroke.

Lee eventually moved in to become his caregiver. Her then-teenage daughter, Porsha Lee, joined them.

An indictment says Rachel Lee eventually gained control of the family's financial and business affairs, and started siphoning money well before the elder Raines died in February 2011.

Raines Jr., a bachelor, eventually told people he had married a British immigrant named Mary Marks so she could stay in this country legally. He also said Marks had given birth to his son.

Marks, however, turned out to be Porsha Lee in disguise and there was never a marriage, the indictment states, adding that she had faked a British accent while wearing heavy makeup and a blond wig.

Another daughter of Rachel Lee allowed her child to play the role of the son Raines believed was his, authorities said.

Acting as Raines' wife, Porsha Lee negotiated the sale of at least four parcels of property for millions of dollars, the indictment states, adding that proceeds from the sales went into bank accounts controlled by Rachel Lee.

University Corruption
Walter E. Williams

Rachel Lee and her boyfriend splurged on travel and luxury cars, according to the indictment. A 2012 Bentley had the license plate "MRBIG." The license plate for a 2012 Ferrari was "MRBIG1."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Donna Maddux declined to comment about the case until after sentencing on Jan. 20. A plea agreement states that Rachel Lee will spend seven to nine years in prison.

"The public documents speak for themselves," Maddux said.

A court record says Porsha Lee, 24, has accepted a plea agreement, though it does not provide details. Maddux said a date for the plea hearing has not been scheduled.

Porsha Lee's attorney, Benjamin Andersen, did not return a message seeking comment.


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