The Brooklyn, N.Y., district attorney announced the Monday arrest of 49-year-old Thomas Parkin for dressing as his dead mother to collect Social Security benefits, according to a New York Daily News story.

Parkin was charged with forgery, grand larceny, conspiracy, criminal impersonation and perjury. Sound shocking? Wait until you hear the rest.

Thomas' mother, Irene Prusik, left her Brooklyn home for him to inherit. When she passed away in 2003, Thomas took out a $200,000 mortgage. He later found out, perhaps due to the recession, that he could not afford it and stopped making mortgage payments.

The home eventually went into foreclosure and was bought in 2003. To avoid eviction, Parkin decided to take on the identity of his dead mother to afford the apartment and pay for his real estate venture.

The reincarnated "Ms. Prusik" was complete with sunglasses, nail polish, wig, and old fashioned clothing. The scam continued for six years as the government offices supplied Parkin with his requested funds. He created a fake ID and even hired a nephew to assist him, or her, at the bank.

Here's bank video of the pair:




Parkin acquired more than $100,000 in Social Security benefits of $700 monthly installments, and rent subsidies. He even filed for bankruptcy to obtain more than $40,000 in subsidies to pay for the Park Slope, Brooklyn apartment.

By now you are probably wondering how he got away with this in the first place.

When the mother died, Parkin provided the funeral home with an incorrect Social Security number and date of birth. This means that he had it all planned out from the beginning.

It's amazing how people are willing to go above and beyond to survive this recession. Or could it just be the usual greed factor that kicks in during any economic condition?

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Introduction to Preferred Shares

Learn the difference between preferred and common shares.

View Course »

Introduction to Retirement Funds

Target date funds help you maintain a long term portfolio.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum