Brooklyn Man Who Posed as Dead Mother Sentenced for Fraud

By Julie Shapiro on May 21, 2012 8:18pm 

Thomas Parkin, 51, was sentenced to at least 13 2/3 years in prison for fraud and other charges May 21, 2012.
Thomas Parkin, 51, was sentenced to at least 13 2/3 years in prison for fraud and other charges May 21, 2012.
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BROOKLYN — A Brooklyn man who dressed up as his dead mother to commit real estate and Social Security fraud was sentenced to at least 13 2/3 years in prison Monday, prosecutors said.

Thomas Parkin, 51, was convicted earlier this month on charges of grand larceny, residential mortgage fraud, forgery and perjury in connection with a years-long scheme in which he assumed his dead mother's identity, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said.

Parkin was sentenced Monday to 13 2/3 to 41 years in prison, Hynes said in a statement.

After Irene Prusik, Parkin's mother, died in 2003, Parkin altered her death certificate to make it look like she was still alive, and then he fraudulently collected about $44,000 of her Social Security benefits over the next six years, prosecutors said.

Parkin also filed a lawsuit trying to get possession of his mother's former home in Park Slope, which had been foreclosed and sold in an auction. Parkin claimed that the house still belonged to his mother, who he said was still alive, prosecutors said.

To keep from getting caught, Parkin even dressed up as his mother to get her driver's license renewed, prosecutors said.

In 2009, Parkin contacted the Brooklyn DA's office for help in getting his mother's home back. He posed as his mother during a meeting with investigators, wearing a red cardigan along with lipstick and manicured nails and breathing through an oxygen tank, prosecutors said.

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