A model and heiress accused of defrauding her mother in a complex psychic scheme, allegedly amounting to nearly $150 million, was found dead under mysterious circumstances after falling from a building in Brazil. Sabine Boghici, 49, was found dead in front of a residence in Rio de Janeiro on September 14.
Boghichi was immediately transported to Miguel Couto Municipal Hospital, where she succumbed to the injuries. Authorities are investigating the death as a possible suicide. During their investigation, they searched her home and found a note left for her wife, Rosa Stanesco, who is currently serving a sentence in a Brazilian prison.
Tragic End after Scam
Boghici was laid to rest on Sunday at a funeral that was attended by her 83-year-old mother, Geneviève, and her sister, Muriel, as reported by Globo 1. Rosa Stanesco Nicolau could not attend the funeral as she is in prison for her alleged role in the scam against her mother-in-law.
Boghici, the daughter of one of Brazil's prominent art collectors, Jean Boghici, inherited a rich legacy in the art world. Jean Boghici, originally from Romania and born in 1928, relocated to Brazil with Jewish friends in 1948.
In August 2022, both Sabine Boghici and Stanesco were arrested for their involvement in a scam, allegedly defrauding Sabine's mother, Genevieve Boghici out of $148.8 million in artwork, jewelry, and monetary assets.
Rio de Janeiro Civil Police investigators said that, in 2020, Sabine orchestrated a scheme against her mother. She hired a woman to approach her mother, falsely claiming that a family member was critically ill and on the brink of death.
This person posed as a psychic and introduced Genevieve Boghici to two accomplices: a fortune teller and a saint's mother, all of whom actively participated in the fraudulent scheme.
They manipulated Genevieve into making payments for a supposed 'spiritual work' to safeguard her daughter's life.
Perfect Plan But Got Caught
The deceptive plan appeared successful, leading Genevieve Boghici to believe her daughter's life was at risk. Consequently, she paid $1 million within a 15-day period for the alleged spiritual intervention.
Sabine went to great lengths to maintain control over her mother by firing employees and caretakers, ensuring Genevieve remained isolated at home.
However, in February 2022, Genevieve began to sense something was wrong due to Sabine's deep involvement with the fraudulent psychics. Consequently, she halted all payments associated with the scam.
Authorities later uncovered that Sabine and her cohorts had stolen valuable artwork, including 16 paintings by Tarsila do Amaral and Emiliano Di Calvacanti, valued at $145 million. Additionally, they had taken $1 million worth of jewelry and received $2.8 million in payments as part of the elaborate scheme.
In March, a court granted Sabine conditional release from prison. The conditions included restrictions such as limited travel outside Rio de Janeiro for up to 10 days, surrendering her passport, refraining from contacting her mother and witnesses, and maintaining a distance of 1,600 feet from her mother.