Con artist posed as dead mom in fraud scheme

NEW YORK - A New York con artist has been convicted in a bizarre scheme that involved dressing up as his mother and collecting her health benefits for six years after she had died.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes announced the conviction Thursday of 51-year-old Thomas Parkin on charges including grand larceny, forgery and perjury. He faces up to 83 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Parkin doctored his mother's death certificate after her 2003 death to make it look as if she were alive. He dressed as his mother and renewed her driver's license.

The mother, Irene Prusik, had deeded her house to Parkin, but he failed to make the payments and it was sold at foreclosure.

Prosecutors say Parkin sued the new owner in his mother's name, alleging real estate fraud.

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