NEW YORK, NY – A Brooklyn man has been arrested for dressing up as his dead mother to scam the government!
Thomas Prusik-Parkin spent six years impersonating his mother in an elaborate ruse to collect social security checks, rent subsidies and even file a lawsuit against himself. His mother, Irene Prusik, died in 2003, but Thomas gave the funeral home an incorrect Social Security number and birthdate so she would not be registered as deceased.
Thomas then began collecting her $700 a month checks from Social Security. Soon after, “Irene” filed bankruptcy, so Thomas could take in another $39,000 in city subsidies for rent on their apartment.
However, this is only the tip of the iceberg in his fraudulent behavior. Thomas went so far as to sue himself so as to keep his home! In 1996, Irene deeded their Brooklyn home to Thomas. Thomas took out a mortgage to pay for a start-up company that eventually failed. He stopped making mortgage payments, and the house was bought in 2003 by Samir Chopra.
In order to get the house back, Thomas posed as Irene and sued himself, alleging that Thomas forged the 1996 deed transfer. The house was given back to “Irene”, who took out an almost million-dollar mortgage, of which $300,000 in cash went to Thomas.
It was Samir Chopra, the true owner of the house, who tipped the cops off to Thomas’ scheme. Police soon discovered that Thomas had actually been dressing up as his mother and been chaperoned around town by a “nephew”, Mhilton Rimolo, in order to cash checks in Irene’s name and deal with property issues. Mhilton, a friend of Thomas’, has been arrested as well.
Not realizing the police were onto him, Thomas met with investigators over the property dispute, showing up as Irene “wearing a red cardigan, lipstick, manicured nails and breathing through an oxygen tank,” prosecutors said. Since his arrest, he has pleaded not guilty to grand larceny, criminal impersonation and other charges. Both men are being held on $1 million bail.