Celebrity Psychic Never Paid PR Firm After Fixing His Image

According to a PR firm he hired, former scam artist turned celebrity psychic Thomas John is acting shady again. The ‘Manhattan Medium’  hired a Californian public relations firm to help give his image a whole new makeover, but they claim he never paid for their services. The shady self-proclaimed psychic hired PR firm ZTPR to fix his image last year after the Daily News reported his history of scamming people on Craigslist.

According to court documents, the company did its part, but John never paid the $3,046.12 bill. The court papers read, “ZTPR completed all the services of helping him build and exaggerate in the press his public profile as a believable psychic medium.”  John Thomas Flanagan used to be well-known in Chicago as a drag queen named Lady Vera Parker. In 2009 he was caught making and posting fake Craigslist ads.

He pretended to have apartments for rent to steal the security deposits from hopeful renters. The scamming psychic told The News that he and ZTPR have worked out a settlement, but according to the company, they have yet to finalize anything and are still working out a deal. “The matter has already been settled out of court,” said the fraudster in a statement“I’ve worked with a number of publicists with great success and respect the profession tremendously.” 

Zack Teperman, president of ZTPR, states that the company’s lawyers are still reviewing the matter. “Our legal team is currently finalizing an out-of-court settlement with Mr. Flanagan,” he said in a statement. “We will have no further comment.” John claimed to have foreseen Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ divorce and Whitney Houston’s death.

John’s Scam Affected A Lot Of People

Several websites show John’s number and have statements from numerous victims conned by his nationwide security deposit scam. After he pleaded guilty to theft and computer fraud, John dropped his last name and got a new start as a psychic medium. Last year he was interviewed with The News, in which he said, “It was basically something I did out of necessity. I’ve turned my life around since then.” 

Now, 32-year-old John claims to be able to communicate with spirits and works as a traveling medium. Earlier this year, he appeared on “Extra,” where he made 2016 celebrity predictions. He was doing this while still working with and under contract with ZTPR. Last month he did an interview where he claimed to have communicated with deceased Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith. He states she told him she blames Howard K. Stern for her death. Stern was Smith’s agent and former lover.

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Angela Moore founded Psychic Review Online in 2008 after being scammed out of her life savings by a psychic con artist. Since then she has devoted her time to rooting out the frauds and helping people find a real psychic reader.

  1. I desperately would like to know the secret behind Thomas Johns “method” on the “Above & Beyond with Laura Smith” Show on WABC Radio where he seem very accuare at times…does anybody know something about this ?

    • Hey Petey,
      First you’ve got to know that Laura Smith is one of Thomas John’s good friends. Then, people who call on the show are kind of preselected. Even though callers seem to be chosen randomly, it is not the case. On radio, shows are always prepared. Before the show Thomas must have access to people’s names, cities and phone numbers (on screen). He just needs to take 10 to 20 minutes to access their social media, etc. Did you know that in many cases when you enter someone’s phone number on the Facebook search bar, you can find them. Many have public facebook accounts. It is pretty sure that if they lost a child or parent or anyone else, they will post something and their friend’s comments may even give details. Afterwards, you can find online obituaries pretty easily. For psychic questions about the future or career, he makes things up or get info online.

      On TV, when he cannot investigate the people he needs to read for, the result is almost terrible. And no names pop up. Fortunately for him there are still the cold reading tricks like the grand-mother figure or the sudden death that help. Watch that video on Fox32:

      Thomas John is the most unauthentic medium you can ever find. Go on Yelp and see the growing number of negative reviews. The positive reviews are either fake reviews or from gullible clients. I have been one of them until I found out about his methods and his dishonesty. Even when he was working as a drag queen in The Chicago area, many of his colleagues and night friends didn’t like him because of his honorless behaviors (not giving back the money he was borrowing, not paying the make up artists he was working with, etc.).

      Make your own research and you’ll see.

      • …me again..Petey.I tried to do my own research, but I can’t find much on the web (apart from the growing number of VERY negative reviews on YELP that You Marianne already mentioned, of course !)
        And I cant’t afford to fly to NYC to do an investigation there…Do You think or know : does he have “help” with somebody feeding him info via earpiece Or does he do the research about the callers before the show. Thanks in advance for Your opinion !

        • I wrote a negative review but it is no longer there on yelp.Went to a spirit circle in Framingham,Ma on March 12th unfortunately he just said things from my brothers obituary and other social media info. Also got a phone call from Thomas Johns office about my negative review and tried to convince me how great a medium he is.

        • Negative yelp reviews and Marianne’s testament are enough evidence for me to avoid it Petey. It’s probably best to call this one a scam.

      • Marianne, thank You very, very much for Your information ! You really helped me as I was so puzzled with this man’s apparent skills. Fantastic that You have so much insight. All the best to You !

  2. As far as I know, Thomas John doesn’t wear any earpiece. He does the research before giving a reading or before events. It is my opinion.
    His radio show with Laura Smith seems to be over. I am pretty sure that Laura Smith doesn’t know about Thomas John’s fraud. She seems to be naive. Maybe we should write her to ask what she thinks after years of working with him.
    It is really difficult to believe that someone dealing with grieving people may scam them. It’s like when you learn that your nice neighbor is indeed a criminal. There is a kind of disbelief. Same thing with fake mediums. And of course there is also the shame like after any abuse.
    In december 3rd 2017, Thomas John did a facebook live with psychic medium Colette Baron Reid during which they both gave free mini readings. That was a way of promoting their charity event in New York city that happened a few days later.
    For every reading that Thomas John gave, I was able to determine how he got his information. It was coming straight from people’s social media and online obituaries. He was so accurate. I wrote a long email to Colette Baron Reid with a precise description for each individual who had a reading. She never answered me back but she deleted the video. If you go on her FB page, you’ll notice on december 3rd that there is no more video. But she left the pictures of the charity event she did with Thomas John. That must mean she is still on good terms with him and that she doesn’t care he is a fraud. It says a lot about her. I suspect that she took the video out because it was potentially contentious and bad publicity for her. I wish I had captured the video. I had no idea she would have removed it.
    Petey, do you have a reading scheduled with Thomas John? Why do you focus on his former show? 🙂

    • Hi Marianne, thank You very much for sharing more information ! No, I have no reading scheduled with Thomas John…I don’t have the money to check it out just for fun & I’m too far away from New York anyway (Switzerland)…and I somehow KNOW it MUST be a scam..! In Videos of other “psychics” (John Edward, Lisa Williams for ex.) You NEVER see that accuracy, those details that Thomas John achieves on this WABC Show ! I just really would die to know EXACTLY how this guy pulls it off ! The Secret behind the magic trick…The exact way the information takes…at least he needs a good memory if he doesn’t use an earpiece, right ?

  3. You know Petey I don’t think it is too difficult to spend 1 hour to research people ahead of time and to remember their information. He reads for 5 to 15 people, even in big groups. It is a bit like a comedian: they’ve got to learn their text. I don’t think it is difficult when you train long enough. During the first demonstration event that I attended, he shared that he indeed has a great visual memory. The rest is entertainment (even though I don’t think he is a good entertainer. I guess that’s why he never succeeded as Lady Vera Parker when he was a drag queen). You are right about the accuracy. Other mediums are not so accurate because they don’t go on their clients social media but their messages are truthful and meaningful. That’s the main difference. They use their psychic and mediumnistic abilities. It is a refined sense but limited by the subconscious mind and brain.

    • Thank you Marianne for your honest and insightful posts! You’ve been a big help to Petey and I’m sure you’ve been a big help to the 100’s of other people that view this page every day.

  4. I also got scammed by this so called medium. I wish I would have read this prior to handing him my money. I had to wait over 6 months to get my reading and he never called, nor did he try to reschedule . I also had purchased a personal calendar , again, didn’t receive a thing.
    Both transactions are now too far gone for us to be able to file a complaint with the credit card company. That must be why he schedules his readings so far out. Takes your money and then there’s too much time gone by for you to do anything about it.
    I first met him at a group setting here in Seattle. He didn’t have any specific things for me or my mother in law. Nothing he said to me made any sense or could I relate to.
    So because I then started getting emails from him DAILY, I figured to sign up for a private consult.I assumed he would have to give me some details then, as I was just me.
    Fortunately it was a promotional reading and so I didn’t cash out the ridiculous amount he normally charges. But still, $ 200 for a half an hour is a lot of money. I dont quite make that much myself and I have to work a lot harder for it. He never called me on my appointment day, nor did he try to reschedule. My calendar was $95, so he’s taken a total of almost $300 from me. Easy money if he can do that daily.
    I will tell everyone wide and far about this scam artist. If there’s something I detest more than anything it’s frauds and liars. He stands first in that category !

  5. Dear Cindy, dear Marianne : You should maybe post reviews about Your experiences with this despicable, dishonest scammer on YELP…because this review-platform seems to be quite important for his business..!

    • I did put my review on Yelp and within a few hours I got an email from him. Funny how, once you take it public, then all of a sudden there is a response.
      He wants to talk to me, he says. Frankly I have no desire to ever speak to this man again. All I want is a refund and that’s what I have told him. We shall see…
      I’m sure he wants to bribe me in retracting or changing my review. It isn’t going to happen. I will not be bought to alter anything I have written, because it is the truth and nothing but the truth. And if that means it’ll cost me $300 to stop this from happening to others, then so be it.

    • I think this is important for everyone to do if they’ve been scammed. Sometimes you just don’t get your money back from a scammer, but if you can help save someone else the trouble, you can at least earn some good karma.

  6. Hello Petey and Angela, I would like to write a Yelp review but will do it in a few weeks because I am waiting for interesting information to get confirmed about Thomas John’s scam. I’ll let you know. Cindy are you sure you can’t file a complaint? You should try even if it seems untimely. His calendar scam is such a shame. Trying to make us believe that he can make personal predictions throughout the year (he says on his promotional email: “Thomas will tune into your specific energy and aura, and channel what he sees happening you throughout the year. Each month will contain predictions about finances, health, career, family, and love life. Whatever Thomas feels that you need to hear, you will hear from him. “).
    That’s a joke. I would be interested to compare 4 or 5 calendars from different people. I bet they look alike. If people who have ordered these calendars read this, let’s write here to let us know what they look like and what they say. If by chance we could compare them, I’m sure we would be surprised.
    Quite recently, there have been a lot of positive Yelp reviews (march 24th, 25th, 26th, 2018) about him. I wonder if Thomas asked a few clients to do so. To be honest, the reviews seems very sincere. I don’t think they are fake but it doesn’t mean that the readings are not fake. Some of the reviews come from parents who have lost their kid. Their desire to establish a contact with their child is so big that they cannot be rational about the whole process. I immensely respect their search and their grief. Nevertheless we’ve got to recognize that they are in a state of vulnerability. Even if 100 % of the information that Thomas gave them is searchable online, they will prefer to think that it means that Thomas is a fantastic medium, a kind of angel on earth. Well I wish he was. Unfortunately he is not. More info to follow…

  7. News about despicable scammer “Psychic Medium” Thomas John at brilliant Skeptic Jon Donnis’ Website : BAD PSYCHICS :

  8. Dear Marianne,
    If You have any new info by now about TJ, please share !
    I really, really want to hear anything new from You.
    Or if anybody knows if & how his TV Show “Seatbelt Psychic” “works”, please share…I read on another site that he has unknown, but
    paid actors as seemingly unknown to him passengers in his car.

    • I watched seatbelt psychic and was hooked. I believed all that he said and cried along with the passengers. I believe people can communicate with the dead and I had a reading with Thomas John at a 7 person spirit circle in Massachusetts. At first I was elated about the reading, but unfortunately afterwards found that everything he said came from my brothers obituary (John, Brooklyn, Rachel, fruit stand, enjoying golf, Linda.). He mentions only what’s public knowledge and does not say anything else to expand on the key info. People who believe him may still because of their pain and desire to connect with loved ones (I’ve lost 5 siblings). I still believe there are gifted people who can channel spirits; but unfortunately, I hate to say not Thomas John. I am not a person who likes to talk negatively about another person and this is the first time I have written a review. I just feel it’s my duty in case people want to know about his ability as a medium.

      Useful 6

  9. Now Thomas John IS busted once & for all. Read the stories by Susan gerbic over at CSI (Center for Skeptical Inquiry). He is a scammer !

    • Thanks for the update Petey!

      • I watched seatbelt psychic and was hooked. I believed all that he said and cried along with the passengers. I believe people can communicate with the dead and I had a reading with Thomas John at a 7 person spirit circle in Massachusetts. At first I was elated about the reading, but unfortunately afterwards found that everything he said came from my brothers obituary (John, Brooklyn, Rachel, fruit stand, enjoying golf, Linda.). He mentions only what’s public knowledge and does not say anything else to expand on the key info. People who believe him may still because of their pain and desire to connect with loved ones (I’ve lost 5 siblings). I still believe there are gifted people who can channel spirits; but unfortunately, I hate to say not Thomas John. I am not a person who likes to talk negatively about another person and this is the first time I have written a review. I just feel it’s my duty in case people want to know about his ability as a medium.

  10. I am reaching out with a sensitive but necessary piece of information that concerns medium Thomas John (also known as Thomas John Flanagan Jr.).

    It has come to our attention through investigative reporting and public records that Thomas John has a history of engaging in fraudulent activities.

    In 2009, Thomas John was involved in a scam where he advertised non-existent apartments for lease on Craigslist, accepting deposits from potential renters, and leaving them without accommodations. Although this occurred some time ago, recent evidence suggests that his deceptive practices have continued in a different guise. As a self-proclaimed psychic medium, Thomas John has been accused of accepting payments for readings that were either not provided or were repeatedly canceled without issuing refunds.

    These actions not only mirror his past fraudulent schemes but also reflect a disturbing pattern of behavior that exploits trust and goodwill. Many individuals, primarily women seeking his mediumship services, have reported being scammed by Thomas John, as detailed in various complaints to the Better Business Bureau, Yelp reviews, and Facebook groups dedicated to sharing these experiences.

    As someone who might have had a positive view of Thomas John, it’s essential to be informed about these matters. We do not wish to distress you but believe it is our responsibility to share this information with those who may have unknowingly supported his activities in the past.

    We kindly urge you to take the following steps:

    1. Please read Susan Gerbic’s article that was released in March 2024 : https://skepticalinquirer.org/exclusive/thomas-john-same-as-he-ever-was/

    2. If you have had any financial dealings with Thomas John, please review your transactions to ensure you have received the services or goods promised.

    3. Consider sharing this information with others who may have had interactions with Thomas John to prevent further instances of fraud.

    4. If you know anyone who has been affected by Thomas John’s deceptive practices, you may suggest them to take action by contacting law enforcement, filing a complaint with consumer protection agencies, or seeking legal advice:

    * Local Law Enforcement – Contact your local law enforcement office to file a police report.
    * District Attorney – Contact your local District Attorney’s Office.
    * State Attorney General – Contact your state’s Attorney General’s Office to report the fraud. Find contact information at http://www.naag.org
    * Federal Bureau of Investigation – Contact your local FBI Field Office at https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices, submit an online tip at http://tips.fbi.gov or report internet based fraud at IC3: https://www.ic3.gov/
    * Secret Service – Contact the Secret Service to report financial crimes and internet fraud: https://www.secretservice.gov/contact/field-offices
    * Report Fraud to the Federal Trade Commission at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov
    * The Internal Revenue Service – Contact the IRS if you suspect Tax Fraud activity:

    Our intent is to promote awareness and accountability. We hope that by bringing these issues to light, we can prevent further harm and encourage ethical conduct in all forms of business and personal relationships.

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