Man dresses like dead mum to steal benefits

Indo Asian News Service

Washington, April 24 (IANS) A New Yorker has been accused of dressing up as his mother for six years to reap $115,000 in benefits. He would don a wig, wear heavy make-up and her dresses besides using a cane to appear like her.

The mother died in 2003.

On Tuesday, jurors were to be shown a screening of Thomas Prusik-Parkin, 53, allegedly carrying off his act.

His mother - Irene Prusik - died at 73. After making sure her death would not be accurately recorded, Thomas began collecting $700 a month in Social Security in her name, in addition to his own disability checks, officials claim, the Daily Mail reported.

Though she died in September, 2003, her monthly benefits were paid until June 2009, a Social Security investigator told the court.

He faces the court this week.

Prusik-Parkin is accused of giving a funeral director the wrong Social Security number and date of birth for his mother so that her death could not be registered in government databases.

The alleged fraudster was eventually caught out when he sought out prosecutors, dressed up in his full disguise, to complain that he was being ripped off by the man who bought the apartment for $660,000 in a foreclosure auction.