- (Photo: Twitter/Diario do Cariri)
Thomas Prusik-Parkin faces up to 83 years in jail for the crime of Social Security fraud. The case echoes the American hit "Psycho" by Alfred Hitchcock, in that Parkin dressed as his dead mother in order to cash the checks.
Parkin, a native of New York, has already served three years behind bars after rejecting a plea deal that would have released him.
"He said he wasn't guilty," his lawyer Morris Shamuil told the Brooklyn Supreme Court. "Mr. Parkin is very hurt and very upset by the verdict."
Irene Prusik, Parkin's mother, died in 2003. That's when Parkin- a self-avowed fan of Norman Bates, the main character in "Psycho"- got the idea to impersonate his mother and collect her checks.
"Whenever [Bates] looked through the hole [at actress Janet Leigh undressing in her motel room], he would get excited," Parkin told the New York Post. "He'd kill her, then in his head think it was his mother."
"I held my mother when she was dying and breathed in her last breath, so I am my mother," Parkin reportedly told police when he was arrested.
A jury was shown footage of Parkin's dressed like his mother at the Department of Motor Vehicles, renewing "her" driver's license, according to the New York Daily News.
Parkin now faces up to 83 years in jail for 11 counts of larceny and falsifying records. It reportedly took the jury less than one day to convict him of all charges. Parkin maintained his innocence throughout the trial, even though he collected at least $115,000 worth of Social Security benefits until they ended in 2009.
In an ironic twist, Parkin's scheme was not discovered until he sought legal advice from prosecutors, hoping to evict a man who bought his mother's apartment at a foreclosure auction. Prosecutors were suspicious, and Parkin was investigated and charged with conspiracy, and grand larceny forgery.
"There is absolutely no proof that he was dressed as his mother," Shamuil told the Post. "The district attorney has no proof."
Shamuil is wrong on that statement, however, as the video speaks for itself.