A New Jersey therapist used her clients’ credit cards to fund her addiction to psychic readings.
32-year-old Ashley Crooks was charged with theft by deception and unlawful use of credit cards after spending up to $40,000 in charges on psychic reading apps.
According to Breaking AC, the Ocean City-based therapist voluntarily surrendered her license in April and is now in pretrial intervention. Officials said the program would allow her to avoid criminal prosecution if she completed it successfully.
Before giving up her license, she owned Counseling by the Sea, where she treated children, teens, and adults with mental health and substance abuse disorders.
However, she developed her addiction once she started using the Sanctuary Ventures app to “gain clarity.”
Initially, she used her credit cards on the app, but once she maxed them all out, Crooks started using her clients’ cards. She explained to investigators that she didn’t know how many of the cards she used to fund her addiction. Sanctuary Ventures conducted its investigation and said Crooks used about 30 different credit cards within two months, and 20 were declined.
One of Crooks’ clients found out about the credit card theft after she called the company on Dec. 7 to dispute two charges on her Mastercard bill. Sanctuary later blocked the account, but Crooks said she created four more emails so she could continue to use the app.
During an interview with investigators, Crooks said she received a call from the company to confirm if her identity had been stolen. She explained that she didn’t use the Gmail account associated with the app’s account, and her clients’ cards were encrypted, so she didn’t know the numbers. Crooks was later registered in pretrial intervention, and the outlet stated she no longer works at the clinic amid her charges.
Crooks’ Healthline profile says she has six years of experience working as a psychologist.