A MAN in New York has been charged with impersonating his dead mother for six years so he could claim her social security benefits. Folklaw gives full marks for effort - according to ananova.com, the 49-year-old, Thomas Prusik-Parkin, allegedly wore a wig, thick make-up and dresses as part of the elaborate scheme to claim $US112,500 ($145,000) in social security benefits and rent subsidies.
Prusik-Parkin had lived with his mother up until her death in 2003, and he allegedly gave the funeral director a false social security number and date of birth so her death didn't show up on government records. Dressed in full regalia, he collected benefit cheques, visited banks and even renewed her driver's licence. He even had an accomplice, Mhilton Rimolo, who posed as her nephew and would communicate with officials.
Prosecutors, who described the ruse as "unparalleled in its scope and brazenness", were finally tipped off about the ruse by the owner of the building whether the mother had lived. Both Prusik-Parkin and Rimolo have been charged with grand larceny, forgery and conspiracy, and face up to 25 years in jail.