Prosecutors: Minn. Couple Collecting Welfare While Living on Yacht in Fla.

Updated: 03/22/2014 7:56 AM
Created: 03/21/2014 3:28 PM
By: Brad Sattin

They lived extravagantly, but fraud investigators say it was off undeserved welfare dollars. The Minnesota couple is charged with felony welfare fraud, accused of collecting welfare benefits.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman calls them "Lord and Lady Chisholm." Colin Chisholm III, 62, and his wife Andrea, 54, of Deephaven, are accused of collecting $167,420 in Minnesota public assistance while living on an 83-foot yacht in Florida.

They claimed to be living with Andrea's mother at her home in South Minneapolis.

The criminal complaint alleges the couple collected the money between 2005 and 2012. A Medica investigation tipped off county officials to the alleged welfare fraud.

Freeman also claims the couple collected welfare money in Florida while living there, and even claimed they once lived at a Connecticut address that turned out to be a UPS store. Freeman says Colin Chisholm created false companies with bank accounts of more than a million dollars, and even said he was a Scottish heir.

The couple is not in custody, and Freeman believes they may have fled the country.

If caught and convicted, they may be eligible for probation, but Freeman says he will seek jail time.

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