Irene Prusik died six years ago, but the Social Security Administration wouldn’t know it, because they were never notified. Instead, Irene’s son—49-year-old Thomas Prusik-Parkin—just let the Social Security payments keep on coming.
How is this possible, you wonder? Well, when Irene Prusik died, her son simply filed the death certificate using a false Social Security number and date of birth. In this way, he continued to receive $52,000 in Social Security payments.
He also falsely claimed a disability with the city of New York, entitling him to a rent subsidies totaling $65,000. Of course, he told the city that his mother was his landlord.
The story gets a lot more bizarre and convoluted from there. Apparently, Parkin periodically dressed up as his mother to renew her license at the DMV, visit the bank, and attend meetings related to a pending real estate lawsuit involving her $2.2 million Brooklyn town home. The surveillance photo included on this post shows Parkin (at left) in a red dress, glasses, and a wig.
“I held my mother when she was dying and breathed in her last breath, so I am my mother,” Parkin reportedly told authorities during his arrest, CNN reported, citing a law enforcement source. It seems that Parkin is not only a con artist, but severely psychologically disturbed as well.
Parkin had an accomplice, Mhilton Rimolo (seen at right in the surveillance photo), and both of them were indicted on 47 counts, including criminal impersonation, Social Security fraud, and perjury. The judge set bail at $1 million for each of them. They could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.