A former scam artist turned celebrity psychic is acting shady again according to a PR firm he hired. ‘Manhattan Medium’ Thomas John hired a public relations firm based out of California to help him out and give his image a whole new makeover but the firm is claiming he never paid for the services.
The shady self-proclaimed psychic hired PR firm ZTPR to fix his image last year after the Daily News reported on his history of scamming people on Craigslist. According to court documents, the company complied with their part but John never paid them the $3,046.12 that they billed him for their work.
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, his full name, used to be really well known in Chicago as a drag queen named Lady Vera Parker.
In 2009 he was caught making and posting fraudulent ads on Craigslist for apartments for rent where he would 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.” Zach Teperman, president of ZTPR, states that the company’s lawyers are still in the process of 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, who was born in Massachusetts, claimed to have foreseen Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ divorce, as well as Whitney Houston’s death.
There are several websites where John’s cellphone number is shown and where a large number of people state that they were affected by his security deposit scam that ran in numerous states. 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 did an interview 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 made an appearance on “Extra” where he made 2016 celebrity predictions. He was doing this while he was 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 that she told him she blames Howard K. Stern for her death. Stern was Smith’s agent and former lover.