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Despicable Man Dresses Like Dead Mother To Steal Benefits

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irene prusikFor six years, Thomas Prusik-Parkin impersonated his dead mother so that he could cash her Social Security checks. The Brooklyn-based man, whose trial began yesterday, is accused of collecting more than $115,000 on his mother Irene Prusik‘s government benefits and rent subsidies. What’s unbelievable is that he tricked so many people into believing he was a 77-year-old woman using nothing more than a wig, scarf, nail polish and his mother’s favorite red cardigan. It’s also extremely sad that he would dishonor his deceased mother in such a disgusting manner.

Even crazier is that Prusik-Parkin had an accomplice, Mhilton Rimolo, who posed as his nephew every time he went out in costume. The Brooklyn district attorney’s office is calling it an “elaborate fraud” that’s “unparalleled in its scope and brazenness.” According to reports, the pair doctored Prusik’s death certificate with a false Social Security Number and date of birth, which made it appear as though she were still alive. At one point, Pruskin-Parkin even visited the Department of Motor Vehicle’s to renew his mother’s driver’s license. (The whole scam is reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock‘s Psycho, and Prusik-Parkin eerily admits to being a big fan of main character Norman Bates.)

Prusik had left her $2.2 million Park Slope apartment building to her son, which he was reportedly unable to maintain. He eventually got into a tiff with the new owner, who told the DA’s office he believed Prusik-Parkin had filed false affidavits. They began investigating, only to find Prusik-Parkin dressed as his mother and breathing through an oxygen tank. (Nice touch, huh?)
Prusik-Parkin and Rimolo were indicted on 47 counts including grand larceny, conspiracy, forgery and criminal impersonation. If convicted, Prusik-Parkin faces up to 25 years in prison.