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Man dressed up as his dead mother to keep home, benefits

A 51-year-old man in Brooklyn named Thomas Parkin dressed up as his dead mother Irene for six long years since 2013 and collected her social security checks. He did other real estate frauds too that totaled up to $115,000.

More than 13 years have passed since the bizarre property fraud involving a New York man dressing up as his mother, doctoring her death certificate, and cashing her pension checks for six years after her death.

Thomas Parkin was given a sentence ranging from 13 to 41 years in prison. Parkin was found guilty on May 3 of charges that included grand larceny and mortgage fraud.

According to the prosecution, Parkin participated in the six-year plan while donning a dress, large sunglasses, and a blonde wig.

Parkin, 51, stated during his sentencing hearing that he has never harmed anyone or used money obtained through theft for his own benefit.

Prosecutors said that after his mother, Irene Prusik, 73, passed away in 2003, he started posing as her in order to cash her Social Security checks and maintain her 2.2 million-dollar (£1.39 million) home in Park Slope, a posh neighborhood in Brooklyn.

Parkin had a deed to the home, but he was unable to pay the mortgage, and prosecutors claimed that the home was eventually sold at a repossession auction.

The court was informed that Parkin and a co-defendant later sued the new owner under Ms. Prusik’s name, alleging property fraud and asserting that the auction was nullified in part due to her continued life.

Man dressed up as his dead mother to keep home 1
Photo credit: Paul Martinka /

Prosecutors said that Parkin falsified his mother’s death certificate and went to the Department of Motor Vehicles disguised as her, complete with wig, dress, and sunglasses, in order to maintain the ruse and obtain a renewed driver’s license. According to them, he also cashed six years’ worth of pension checks totaling roughly $44,000 (£27,848).

After less than a day of deliberation, the jury found him guilty. Security footage of Parkin in drag in public was shown to the jury during the trial, but his defense attorney claimed it could have been anyone.

Both parties eventually contacted the district attorney to accuse one another of fraud as the property dispute continued. By the time investigators set up a meeting with the family, they had a picture of Ms. Prusik’s gravestone from a nearby cemetery as evidence that she had passed away.

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Parkin showed up for the interview “wearing a red cardigan, lipstick, manicured nails, and breathing through an oxygen tank,” according to the prosecution, and the investigators went along with it.

Mhilton Rimolo, 49, a co-defendant, was found guilty of grand larceny in October 2010 and given a three-year prison sentence.

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