By Ben Fractenberg
MANHATTAN — A fortune teller who scammed a Wall Street trader out of half a million dollars is being released from prison for good behavior as early as Valentine's Day, state parole officials said.
Tammy Mitchell, 46, has been held upstate in the Beacon Correctional Facility following her conviction in March for fleecing entrepreneur Douglas Lonneker, 45, out of $487,000 after he went to her storefront at East 32nd Street.
Mitchell told Lonneker, who resided in Wyoming at the time of her arrest, he was "cursed" and needed to pay her to advise him on personal matters and to exorcise the influence of evil spirits and curses, the New York Post reported.
She was charged with two counts of grand larceny and pleaded guilty to scamming Lonneker as well as another woman, from whom she took $40,000. She received a minimum sentence of two years last spring.
Her earliest release date was June, but she was able to apply time served and good behavior under a merit time bill passed in 1997 for non-violent offenders, said state Department of Correctional Services spokeswoman Linda Foglia.
If she has no infractions in prison, she will be set free on Feb. 14.
"Tammy behaved herself and on our end the prisons are safer," said Foglia. "We win and the inmate wins."
Neither Foglia or Weaver had the details on where Mitchell will live and what type of work she will be allowed to do once released.