(NEW YORK POST) – A self-proclaimed psychic in Midtown has been arrested for allegedly conning at least two vulnerable out-of-town clients out of nearly $800,000 over the last five years, The Post has learned.
Ann Thompson, 42, who operated her years-long supernatural scheme under the name “Psychic Zoe” out of the second-story of a W. 35th building near Seventh Avenue, was finally nabbed Wednesday morning on charges of grand larceny, scheming to defraud and fortune-telling, authorities said.
Thompson, who represented herself as a renowned psychic medium and advertised $5 readings, told her victims they “needed to provide her with funds for a spiritual protection plan to ensure that family members would be protected,” an NYPD spokeswoman said.
“She assured them that the funds would be returned upon conclusion of the protection plan,” the spokeswoman said. “She refused to return the funds and said family would be in danger if funds were returned.”
Thompson, a New Jersey native, cheated one of her victims, a 49-year-old man from the Midwest, out of $72,000 after he visited the swindling psychic on Dec. 15, 2017, authorities said.
The man visited Thompson over the next week – and Thompson convinced him “that he was suffering from a number of psychic maladies which she could cure,” according to a Manhattan Criminal Court complaint.
Thompson then coerced the man into purchasing $72,000 worth of gold coins so that he could “place them in a special location at her temple which would cure his aura,” court documents show.
Thompson told the man he would have to “supply half the gold coins and that her temple would be willing to supply the other half,” the complaint says, adding that Thompson “promised” that by the end of the ritual or at any time he asked “either the gold coins or their full cash value would be returned.”
The two even signed a written contract stating the terms.
After the man consulted with his wife, he requested that his money be returned back to him like Thompson promised, but she refused, the court papers say.
Thompson pulled the same trick on another victim, a woman in her 40s from Canada, who she swindled more than $740,000 over the course of more than four years from 2013 to 2017.
The woman first visited Thompson’s second-floor parlor on Feb. 14, 2013 and during that visit Thompson told the woman that “she was in great danger,” according to court documents.
The two then developed a relationship and Thompson told the victim she needed her to purchase gold coins and other items “which would be set up in a room at [Thompson’s] temple which would help protect [the victim] from danger.”
Thompson assured the woman that everything placed at the temple was the woman’s property and that “the temple was not making any profit” in a written contract.
The woman was conned out of the hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next few years before she realized that that Thompson was a fraud, court documents say.
Both victims hired private investigator Bob Nygaard, who specializes in the apprehension pf psychic scammers, he said. Nygaard started working the case in 2016 and a formal police report was made last month.
According to Nygaard, “Thompson claimed that she needed to use money and various items to perform rituals to vanquish evil spirits, demons, and curses that were allegedly plaguing the victims and various members of the victims’ families.”
A part-time employee who works for Thompson at the second-floor Manhattan storefront claimed she had no idea her boss was defrauding clients out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“She is a very nice, generous person. She wasn’t bad,” Ashley Marks, 26 told The Post, adding that the Thompson’s business “has been very quiet, not a lot of people coming in.”
“I never heard anything” regarding the accusations, Marks said.
At Thompson’s Manhattan Criminal Court arraignment, she was ordered held on $50,000 bail.
Her next court date is scheduled for June 27.