Guy grabs wig, oxygen and $117,000 in fraud benefits


This story alternately amused and appalled. It seems Thomas Prusik-Parkin impersonated his dead mother for six years, collecting $52,000 in Social Security benefits and another $65,000 in rental assistance (can someone explain to me why a homeowner qualifies for this benefit?).

We're not talking just cashing the checks. We're talking full hair and makeup, a driver's license and a fake nephew. We are also talking, and for me this was the piece de resistance of this little charade, an oxygen tank.

Now that's dedication. Imagine lugging an oxygen tank around and breathing through a tube (according to the story). That just doesn't sound like fun. Maybe he should look for a bride to be that uses feeding tubes to lose weight.

It just goes to show, there are as many ways to defraud the government as there are government agencies to fall for it. However, I am impressed by how quickly an investigation into this was begun (Medicare, take note!).

No word on whether some poor HME provider has been billing Medicare for this oxygen equipment. Even if mom had capped out, she would have done so after her death. Maybe her son bought it off the Internet (for a low, low price, of course).

Wonder if mom is turning in her grave.

Theresa Flaherty