Wednesday, May 23, 2012
A court sentenced Thomas Parkin to 13 years in prison for grand larceny and mortgage fraud. Parkin conducted a scheme to defraud the government out of $44,000 in Social Security funds. In addition, Parkin also committed real estate fraud in the course of his crime.
How he committed both crimes is what makes this case so bizarre. Apparently, Parkin dressed like his late-mother in order to claim that she was still alive. He did this to ensure that he could continue to receive his late-mother's social security checks. He also dressed like his mother to keep her $2.2 million brownstone in Brooklyn. However, this did not stop the banks from foreclosing on the property when Parkin was unable to pay the mortgage. Parkin, subsequently, lost the house in a foreclosure auction. Parkin sued, in his attempt to maintain his scheme, claiming real estate fraud. He tried to manufacture that his mother was still alive by wearing her clothes in public and renewing her driver's license. He also tried to doctor his mother's death certificate.
Jurors in this case found Parkin guilty on all counts in less than a day.
See Colleen Long, Thomas Parkin Sentenced: New York Man Dressed As Dead Mom To Collect Social Security, Keep House, Huffington Post, May 21, 2012.
Special thanks to David S. Luber (Attorney at law, Florida Probate Attorney Wills and Estates Law Firm) for bringing this article to my attention.