NY Man Who Dressed as Dead Mom Sentenced for Fraud

NY man who dressed as dead mom sentenced for fraudNEW YORK (AP) - A man who dressed up as his mother in a bizarre real estate fraud that involved doctoring her death certificate and cashing her Social Security checks for six years after she died was sentenced Monday to more than 13 years behind bars.

Thomas Parkin was convicted May 3 on charges including grand larceny and mortgage fraud. He was sentenced Monday to 13 2/3 to 41 years in prison. Prosecutors said the scheme lasted six years and involved Parkin wearing a blond wig, dress and oversized sunglasses.

The 51-year-old Parkin said at sentencing that he never hurt anyone or used stolen funds for personal gain or injury.

When his mother, Irene Prusik, died in 2003 at age 73, he began impersonating her to cash her Social Security checks and keep her $2.2 million brownstone in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope, prosecutors said. The house had been deeded to Thomas Parkin, but he couldn't make mortgage payments and the house was later sold at a foreclosure auction, prosecutors said.

Parkin and a co-defendant later sued the new owner under Prusik's name, claiming real estate fraud and saying the auction was invalid in part because she was still alive, prosecutors said.

To maintain the ruse, Parkin doctored his mother's death certificate and went to the Department of Motor Vehicles dressed as her in a blond wig, dress and oversized sunglasses so he could get a renewed license, prosecutors said. He also cashed Social Security checks for six years, totaling about $44,000, they said.
Jurors deliberated for less than a day before finding him guilty. At trial, they were shown security footage of Parkin in drag in public, but his defense attorney said it could've been anyone.

As the property dispute dragged out, both sides eventually contacted the district attorney to accuse each other of fraud. By the time investigators arranged a meeting with the family, they had proof Prusik was dead: a photo of her tombstone in a local cemetery.

The investigators played along as Parkin showed up for the interview "wearing a red cardigan, lipstick, manicured nails and breathing through an oxygen tank," prosecutors said.

A co-defendant, Mhilton Rimolo, 49, was sentenced in October 2010 to three years in prison after he was convicted of grand larceny.

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reedinaz

Oh no! Someone screwed the gov't out of $44,000! Oh how the mighty have fallen. How will the gov't recover?

May 24 2012 at 5:22 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
kacva1

Yikes! A little too Norman Bates for me

May 24 2012 at 4:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
EasyG

More than 13 years sentence for scamming $40,000?. Did anybody who caused the deep recession and scamming us taxpayers for trillion of dollars get to stay in jail for one day?. That only shows Greed in Wall Street and Power in Politics goes along together.

May 24 2012 at 4:03 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
kimacodogcatcher

Man maybe I can get a par time job in the drag myself,... I do need money!!! I'm a women,.. I won't mind looking like a man for few extra bucks!!!! I can see it now a GENDER BENDER INC.

May 24 2012 at 3:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
nladney

Stories like this shouldn't be publicized, gives too many crooks ideas.

May 24 2012 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Isabel

he sound like halloween and bendit :( i see his face like frail male..crazy!!

May 24 2012 at 2:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
b.f.k. sr

there are many others that are probobly still getting and using the ss benefits of dead relatives thanks to reagans idea to save money for his trickle dowb economy. prior to his big idea somebody was always entitled to the magnificent death benefit sum of 2.55 dollars so funeral homes atomaticaly notified ssa about deaths, that notification went away when the benefit became limited to people meeting new rules were the only ones getting the benefit, so ssa in many cases did not know about the death and continued to send out benefits. this has been made even worse with the imajor increase ib direct deposit because the postman with no physical check to deliver wont send it back to ssa marked deceased

May 24 2012 at 1:34 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
jemteku

For the love of Pete, what a disgusting creep. Greedy jerk.

May 24 2012 at 1:28 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
inluvwithkiba

This is old. This was on "Smoking Gun's World's Dumbest..." a year or two ago.

May 24 2012 at 1:15 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
roadglide1999

A true Obama plan - using other people's money for their own gain! How can it be a crime when this phony in the White House is getting away with it every day? Playing dress-up as an American citizen and destroying the economy by spending taxpayer money!

May 24 2012 at 1:08 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to roadglide1999's comment