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New York Man Gets 41 Years in Prison for Dressing Up as Dead Mom and Collecting Social Security Benefits

May 22, 2012

He’s not going to the Bates Motel. A “Psycho” scammer who dressed up as his dead mom so he could collect her Social Security benefits will instead be checking into state prison for 13 2/3 to 41 years after being sentenced yesterday for the bizarre Norman Bates-like stunt. Thomas Prusik-Parkin, 52 was convicted this month of grand larceny and mortgage fraud for posing as Irene Prusik for several years in order to pocket more than $44,000 of the dead woman’s benefits. “It’s amazing — it’s amazing!” Justice Vincent Del Giudice said as he sentenced the frail, bearded man. “It borders on ludicrous that you expected to get away with this.” Irene Prusik-Parkin’s actress mom, Irene, was 73 when she died in 2003. Within days of Prusik’s death, authorities charged, her son changed her Social Security numbers and doctored other documents. The admitted Norman Bates admirer’s kooky cross-dressing caper fell apart in 2009 when he donned the matronly getup to tell Brooklyn prosecutors he was being ripped off by a man who bought out of foreclosure the $2.2 million Park Slope building deeded to him by his mom. Del Giudice shook his head as he recalled how the elderly “woman” claimed she had cataracts when an investigator from the Brooklyn DA’s Office asked why the lights in her apartment were dimmed. Jurors in the trial were shown a video of Prusik-Parkin in a platinum woman’s wig, sunglasses and a dress during a visit to a Department of Motor Vehicles office. “It just boggles the mind that you continued this plan of deceit by impersonating her and committing a fraud at the DMV,” Del Giudice said. Prusik-Parkin, maintained that it wasn’t him in the videos. During a rambling statement before he was sentenced, Prusik-Parkin insisted he hadn’t rejected a deal from prosecutors that could have sprung him from jail, rather than face up to 41 years in prison. “I simply objected to the structure of the plea deal,” he claimed. “It was, and still is, very confusing.” Prusik-Parkin also denied he was out to line his pockets, and even commented on the fashions seen in the videos. “They’re old discotheque shirts from the 1970s. None of these blouses match the video that was seen here,” he said bizarre Eventually, Prusik-Parkin stopped babbling in front of the exasperated judge. “Mr. Parkin,” Del Giudice said with a chuckle, “You’re an amazing character.”

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