A Brooklyn man impersonated his deceased, 77-year-old mother — even donning a red cardigan and lipstick — in an alleged attempt to receive social security benefits and steal the Park Slope brownstone she once owned, according to the district attorney’s office.
Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes today announced a 47-count indictment against 49-year-old Thomas Parkin and his friend Mhilton Rimolo, 47, in connection with the elaborate scam.
The two were charged with first-degree grand larceny, and if convicted, may serve up to 25 years in prison, according to a spokesperson for the DA’s office. They were also charged with conspiracy, forgery, perjury and criminal impersonation in connection with a scam. They are being arraigned this morning at Kings County Supreme Court.
Prosecutors say the charade began in 2003, with the death of Parkin’s mother, Irene Prusik. Parkin and Rimolo altered Prusik’s death certificate with a fake social security number and date of birth to make it appear as though his mother were still alive, the DA’s office said. Then, they allegedly began filing a series of lawsuits in her name against the owner of the brownstone at 492 Sixth Avenue, where Parkin lived and that Prusik had once owned, claiming the deed to the property was invalid.
The defendants received Prusik’s social security benefits every month for six years, totaling $52,000, and received some $65,000 in rental assistance from the city by claiming the deceased woman was their landlord, according to the DA. Parkin allegedly dressed as his late mother and visited the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew her drivers’ license.
In a bizarre twist, Park even went to the DA’s office in March to report that he and his mother were victims of real estate fraud, in response to court filings the new owner of the building, Samir Chopra, had filed against them attempting to evict them for failure to pay rent, the indictment said.
When prosecutors and detectives arrived at the Sixth Avenue home for a meeting with Prusik, they found Parkin “dressed as his 77-year-old mother, wearing a red cardigan, lipstick, manicured nails and breathing through an Oxygen tank,” according to the DA’s office.
Information on Parkin and Rimolo’s attorneys and the next court date were not immediately available.