A man accused of dressing up like his dead mother in a harebrained attempt to keep his Park Slope home was sentenced to 41 years in prison on Monday.
Thomas Prusik Parkin was facing 83 years for scamming the federal government out of more than $44,000 in Social Security benefits meant for his deceased mother, who died in 2003.
Judge Vincent Del Giudice said he couldn’t believe Prusik Parkin’s elaborate charade.
“It borders on the ludicrous that you expected to get away with it,” Del Giudice said.
Prusik Parkin has been jailed for nearly three years since his arrest in 2009. He refused to plead guilty and demanded a trial, which ended earlier this month with a guilty conviction.
Prosecutors claim that Parkin dressed up like his dead mother to keep his house from foreclosure.
Irene Prusick, who died at 73, deeded the home on Sixth Avenue near 12th Street to Parkin, but the failed entrepreneur soon couldn’t make the $200,000 mortgage he took out on the home after a real estate venture he was working on failed, investigators said.
The house went into foreclosure and was purchased by Samir Chopra at auction.
But instead of mourning his mother’s death, Prusik Parkin allegedly seized the opportunity, as well as the elderly woman’s wardrobe, prosecutors claimed.
Pretending to be his mother, he filed several lawsuits against Chopra claiming that the deed he had purchased, the one with her “son’s” name on it, had been forged.
He propagated the fraud further by collecting monthly Social Security benefits for his deceased mother over six years, as well as an additional $65,000 in rental assistance from the city’s Human Resource Agency.
Prosecutors allege that Prusick Parkin would apply for the assistance dressed in a wig, dark glasses, and his mother’s clothes, or through a friend who pretended to be Prusick’s “concerned nephew.”
25 years for disgraced cop
A dishonored NYPD cop who pleaded guilty to helping a robbery crew commit more than 100 heists was sentenced to 25 years in prison on May 9.
Emmanuel Tavarez, an eight-year veteran of the NYPD, admitted that he was part of a crooked team that raided known drug dens throughout the city and Philadelphia.
The thieves would suit up in their NYPD regalia, force their way inside, and “arrest” drug traffickers. They would restrain their victims “with handcuffs, rope, and duct tape,” and make off with cash and drugs, according to court documents.
“In addition, crew members often brandished firearms or physically assaulted their victims,” federal prosecutors claim.
The robberies began as early as 2001. The crew of 15 was ultimately brought to justice in March 2009, but not before netting more than 250 kilograms of cocaine and $1 million in drug proceeds, prosecutors charge.
Tavarez, a Queens housing cop, was the only member of the violent robbery crew with any affiliation to the NYPD.
But Tavarez’s badge gave the crew an amazing amount of legitimacy — especially when he flashed it around moments before handcuffing his victims.
Tavarez was also responsible for supplying his teammates with NYPD jackets, equipment, and doctored search warrants to make the robberies, at least at the outset, appear to be part of an official investigation, prosecutors said.
Tavarez decided to plead guilty after realizing the “crushing weight” of the evidence prosecutors had against him, defense attorney Raymond Colon explained. More than five members of the crew had already pleaded guilty — and some were going to testify for the prosecution.
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