French mayor arrested for corruption after clairvoyant tricked him

In the bizarre case, the mayor said he believed the woman was ‘gifted with supernatural powers’

A view of a woman posing as a medium, with tarot cards and a smartphone
The woman who allegedly tricked the mayor describes herself as a ‘self-employed clairvoyant, medium, and healer’ (image for illustration only)
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A mayor in southern France has been arrested and accused of corruption after being tricked into hiring people and spending public money by a local ‘clairvoyant’ who modified her voice in calls to him, causing him to believe the voice belonged to a ‘supernatural force’.

Gilles d'Ettore, mayor of Agde (Hérault, Occitanie), was arrested and detained for questioning on March 21, in connection with alleged “illegal interest-taking and corruption”, said the Béziers prosecutor in a statement.

He is being investigated for "misappropriation of funds by a person in a position of public authority, illegal acquisition of interests and corruption”.

A 44-year-old woman, who describes herself as a ‘self-employed clairvoyant, medium, and healer’ has also been detained and questioned, accused of deliberately tricking and corrupting the mayor.

Her husband, who is the Agde mairie’s current technical service director, has also been placed under judicial control, and been banned from his previous role. He is suspected of "illegal interest taking, misappropriation of funds by a person in a position of public authority, and corruption”.

‘Supernatural being from beyond’

The woman is accused of calling the mayor, as well as some of his family members and close friends, while modifying her voice in an attempt to trick or confuse them.

She is suspected of using a “masculine-sounding, calm and husky voice on the telephone” in an attempt to make her respondents believe that they were “in conversation with a supernatural being from beyond”.

This voice caused people to become “concerned about the well-being of this woman, including materially”, said the prosecutor.

The woman said that her calls had managed to persuade the mayor to grant her several “favours”, including the recruitment of five members of her family and close friends to work for the commune. This included the appointment of her husband at the mairie.

Mr d’Ettore has admitted that the woman managed to convince him that she was “gifted with supernatural powers", and he felt so close to her that he considered her to be like a daughter.

He only realised he had been the victim of a scam when investigators showed him a video of the woman modifying her voice.

However, Mr d’Ettore has denied having committed any offence.

The investigation first began in October 2023, when around 40 people were interviewed. The Béziers public prosecutor’s office then opened a criminal investigation “against X” on January 5, into the charge of “organised fraud”.

The investigation continues.

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