New York Man Accused of Collecting Mother's Benefits

Date: 
Monday, April 23, 2012
Office Affiliation: 

Coming soon to a Brooklyn courthouse near you -- “Psycho.”

Jurors in the wacky criminal case of a man who allegedly dressed up as his dead mom so he could cash her Social Security checks will get a screening tomorrow of his creepy Norman Bates act. Thomas Prusik-Parkin is accused of collecting Irene Prusik’s government benefits and rent subsidies for six years after her 2003 death — with help from a wig, some nail polish, a scarf and his mom’s favorite bright-red dress. “Our beloved mother,” says the 73-year-old woman’s headstone in Staten Island’s Ocean View cemetery. “Everyone is talking about the lady in red.” Thomas Prusik-Parkin has been accused of dressing up like his dead mother for six years to steal $115,000 in benefits. Videos of Prusik-Parkin’s alleged cross-dressing caper will be aired for jurors in the case after a Social Security investigator said yesterday that the government continued paying the mom’s monthly benefits until June 2009 — even though the actress died in September 2003. “No one has that number,” Special Agent Gilberto Camilo said of the Social Security number listed on the woman’s death certificate. “That number does not exist.” Prosecutors contend that Prusik-Parkin changed his mom’s SSN and her date of birth so he could keep cashing her benefits and collecting rent subsidies on the $2.2 million Park Slope apartment building she had left him. Camilo said her birth year was listed as 1920 on her death certificate. The bizarre and allegedly lucrative dress-up came to an end when Prusik-Parkin donned the matronly disguise - nail polish and all - to tell Brooklyn prosecutors he was being ripped off by the man who bought the 12th St. building for $660,000 in a foreclosure auction. Prusik-Parkin told The Post in a jailhouse interview shortly after his arrest that he was big fan of Bates, the main character in the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic. “Whenever [Bates] looked through the hole [at actress Janet Leigh undressing in her motel room], he would get excited,” he said of the murderous innkeeper. “He’d kill her, then in his head think it was his mother.” Prusik-Parkin insisted during the jailhouse interview that it was an “impostor” who was filmed in drag at a DMV office and at his home. “There is absolutely no proof that he was dressed as his mother,” said defense lawyer Morris Shamuil. “The district attorney has no proof.” Prusik-Parkin is facing up to 25 years in prison if convicted of grand larceny. A sidekick, Mhilton Rimolo, 44, served less than a year in prison after pleading guilty to grand larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Source: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/jurors_trial_see_video_of_cr...