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The Glam Scammer
October 25, 2013 8:03 PM   Subscribe

"In cities across the country, Michael Manos has thrown fantastic parties with faux celebrities and top-shelf tequila sponsors. He ingratiates himself in gay communities, fakes a European accent, and often has claimed to be the disavowed gay son of a Greek millionaire, though he actually grew up middle-class in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Along the way, he’s taken thousands of dollars from socialites and the well-heeled, who were easily blinded by his glitter and glamour. He duped actress Jane Fonda. He sold tickets to a “chic” fundraiser in honor of Sen. John McCain, who later said he’d never heard of him. Manos is a bank robber, a one-time male escort on Capitol Hill, and the target of more than one cross-country manhunt. He is also a convicted kidnapper who helped keep a man locked in the trunk of a car for four days. For that, he spent more than a decade in a New York prison. And now he’s behind bars again, this time in Louisiana."
posted by porn in the woods (25 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ah, "Manos" the Glam Scammer.
posted by sock me amadeus at 8:07 PM on October 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


sock me amadeus: "Ah, "Manos" the Glam Scammer"

I'd go with "Manos: The Scams of Fate" myself, but that works too.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:17 PM on October 25, 2013 [34 favorites]


He said he was J.P Morgan's grandson.

John Pierpoint Morgan III died in like 78.

Sigh - first rule of social climbing club : have a vague but plausible cover!
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 PM on October 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


a one-time male escort on Capitol Hill

Insert "Hands of Manos" joke here, as needed.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:30 PM on October 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is gonna turn into a snuff film, isn't it?
posted by octobersurprise at 8:33 PM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sounds like a Great American Entrepreneur to me...
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:35 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


In New Orleans, of course, the party went on without him.
posted by Anitanola at 9:01 PM on October 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


it goes to show the difference between a con man and a "legit "charity that steals a whole bunch of money is a matter of scale and connections.
posted by The Whelk at 9:11 PM on October 25, 2013


Six Degrees of Separation, The Remake.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:26 PM on October 25, 2013


For those interested in getting in on some of the action . . .
posted by hawkeye at 9:26 PM on October 25, 2013


The Whelk: "He said he was J.P Morgan's grandson.

John Pierpoint Morgan III died in like 78.

Sigh - first rule of social climbing club : have a vague but plausible cover!
"

And no cheesy autoplay music on your site (M2 Trust)?
posted by Samizdata at 10:21 PM on October 25, 2013


Michael Manos -- at the time known as Christian de Medici
Yeah that's subtle.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:33 PM on October 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also don't have a horrible bleach dye job*, thats a dead giveaway.

*shut up these are highlights.
posted by The Whelk at 10:34 PM on October 25, 2013


John Pierpoint Morgan III died in like 78.

Actually, the grandson (Junius Spencer Morgan III, however that came about) died in 1960.

Apparently his last living daughter (d. 1989) still has grandchildren and such around in sufficient abundance -- none of them, of course, named Morgan. But his actual grandsons were people like Henry S. who were born around the turn of the last century.

But yeah, that stood out for me. It's almost like a litmus test for what people will believe and, in this day and age, fail to even Google for plausibility. If they fall for this, they'll fall for quite a bit.
posted by dhartung at 11:50 PM on October 25, 2013


He said he was preparing to launch a skin care line, which he called “Fierce.”
"I know want I'm doing, I've seen tons of movies".
posted by qinn at 1:09 AM on October 26, 2013


Anyone who holds a benefit for McCain and then absconds with the dough qualifies for sainthood Robinhood.
posted by Goofyy at 2:54 AM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Great story, and I'm glad he was found out in New Orleans before he could do too much harm. I hope the party went well in the end.

I enjoy this kind of crime story anyway, but this one was quite comforting to read right now, since I've spent the past few weeks trying to get paid by some unscrupulous employers/entrepreneurs. A lot of Manos's tactics rang very familiar, but the scale of his antics puts my problems in perspective. :)
posted by daisyk at 3:07 AM on October 26, 2013


If they fall for this, they'll fall for quite a bit.

Hey, he told us he was just a very well-preserved 109.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:49 AM on October 26, 2013


The rich will remember.
posted by jefflowrey at 7:41 AM on October 26, 2013


The Advocate story sort of buries the lede, which is that the guy kidnapped someone and held him locked in a car trunk for 4 days. That's hideous, way more awful than some amusing scams involving implausible backstories and a few bounced checks.

“He was a fast-talking, highfalutin’ promoter type,” Mack said. “It was so over the top.”

I can imagine that not going over very well in The Big Easy.
posted by Nelson at 8:27 AM on October 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it's not so cute if, instead of it being spun as a gay-flavored version of Catch Me If You Can, you see it instead as a thug who did 15 years of hard time for kidnapping and switched to white collar crime.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:58 AM on October 26, 2013


The actual gay flavored Catch Me If You Can is the sadly overlooked I Love You Phillip Morris, in which Jim Carrey and Ewan McGreggor are con men and serial prison escapees in love ( or sociopathic codependency, whatever). Pretty sure the crimes are limited to theft and fraud.
posted by The Whelk at 10:58 AM on October 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah the car trunk thing sucks. Until then I was on his side, honestly. Bilking the rich and powerful doesn't bother me.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:54 PM on October 26, 2013


Why on Earth would you hire a private investigator to act as your bodyguard and then stiff him? I mean yeah, desperation, obviously, but what shit planning for a dude who'd already been busted in other cities.
posted by elr at 4:56 PM on October 26, 2013


“In life and business there are those who make excuses, and those who find a way. Simply put, comfort substitutes progression and development or in other words, having what is good is in turn a terrible enemy of having what is GREAT.

In this day and age, everything is dependent on accurate information and timely action both of which are essential in the consistently evolving technical interface that continues to change our way of life.

Success is rooted in self-management. No man can stand pure when subject to an Order that is not his own. We must learn to manage ourselves and stay relevant to our own ventures in life and business alike and also remember that in business, there is no perfect conscious in the process of making money.”


Wow...
posted by stenseng at 4:26 PM on October 28, 2013


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