Park Slope Man Convicted of Masquerading as Dead Mother
By DNAinfo Staff on May 3, 2012 7:19pm
By Alan Neuhauser
BROOKLYN — He'd be at home in "Psycho."
A Park Slope con artist who dressed as his dead mother to commit real estate and Social Security fraud was found guilty of grand larceny, forgery and other charges Thursday, officials said.
Thomas Parkin, 51, faces up to 83 years in prison when he is sentenced May 21, prosecutors stated. His accomplice, Mhilton Rimolo, 49, who posed as Parkin's nephew, pleaded guilty to grand larceny in September 2010 and was sentenced to up to three years in prison.
The scheme's roots reach to the 1990s, when Irene Prusik deeded her home at 492 Sixth Ave. in Park Slope to her son, Parkin.
At the time, Parkin, Prusik and Prusik's other son all lived in the building together. Parkin, however, was unable to maintain ownership, prosecutors said. In January 2003, the building sold at foreclosure auction and Prusik died eight months later.
In September 2003, Parkin and Rimolo sued the house's new owner, Samir Chopra, in Prusik's name and alleged real estate fraud. They claimed that the auction was invalid and that Prusik was the real owner of the house.
To back up the claim, Parkin doctored Prusik's death certificate, providing a false Social Security number and date of birth to make it appear as if she were still alive, the D.A.'s office said.
Parkin and Rimolo then dressed as Prusik and visited a Department of Motor Vehicles office to renew her driver's license, where they were captured on surveillance video.
In March 2009, unaware that prosecutors had already launched an investigation into his actions, Parkin walked into the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office to report to the Real Estate Fraud Unit that he and his mother were victims, prosecutors said.
He claimed his mother was the rightful owner to the property, and that the new owner had illegally coerced them and filed false documents in court.
To investigators' surprise, prosecutors stated, Parkin and Rimolo invited investigators to meet with Prusik at the home on Sixth Avenue.
When the investigators arrived, they found Park dressed as his 77-year-old mother, wearing a red cardigan, lipstick, manicured nails, and breathing through an oxygen mask, according to the DA's office.