SALEM — It just wasn’t in the cards for Fatima’s Psychic Studio to lose its fortunetelling license.
Despite complaints that the Hawthorne Boulevard business has a history of offering to remove curses for cash, and in one instance charged a man more than $16,000 to place a protective shield over him, the Licensing Board last night “reluctantly” renewed Fatima’s license, placing it on probation through the rest of the year.
In a move not even a psychic could have seen coming, Detective Sgt. James Page opened last night’s hearing by withdrawing the police complaint. In effect, Page, the board’s investigator, said he couldn’t bring a complaint because the business wasn’t licensed when two recent alleged incidents took place.
Fatima’s was before the board because it failed to renew a license that expired in March 2012.
“I don’t think you can ethically bring a charge of violation of a (fortunetelling) license because they didn’t have a valid license at the time,” Page said.
The complaint the detective filed with the board Oct. 10 and withdrew last night cited four alleged violations going back to 2003, including two recent ones, which were the most serious.
Page said there have not been similar complaints against other Salem psychics and readers.
A man from West Henrietta, N.Y., told police he went to Fatima’s in August and, over several weeks, paid a reader named “Debbie” $16,800 for the protective shield she convinced him he needed and for something called a “Channel Angels.”
Police Detective Dennis Gaudet is investigating. However, whether that complaint will move forward is unclear.
Last night, Salem Attorney William Quinn, who represented the psychic studio, said he was told by an attorney handling that civil matter that “constructive and positive negotiations” are taking place between Fatima’s and the complaining customer, which are expected to result in an agreement to reimburse the man.