Crime

Couple On The Lam Owned $1.2M Yacht While Collecting Welfare Payments

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A couple who claimed to be Scottish aristocrats were collecting welfare payments from Minnesota while living on a $1.2 million yacht in Florida.

Prosecutors say Colin Chisholm III, 62, and his wife Lady Andrea, 54, of Deephaven, swindled $165,000 in payments from various government assistance programs between 2005 and 2012.

The couple is still at large.

"They know by now we are looking for them,” said a spokesman for Hennepin County prosecutor Mike Freeman.

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Each of them are charged with one felony count of wrongfully obtaining public assistance in excess of $35,000. Colin was charged in February, while Andrea was charged on Thursday.

Colin Chisholm was the CEO of a satellite television and broadband services company, TCN Network, while his wife bred show dogs.

In seven years they deposited more than $2.6 million into their accounts, which was never reported on their welfare applications, according to the complaint. They applied for welfare in 2005.

During that time they were living on a 83-foot yacht in Florida. Then in 2008, they moved into a 5,800 sq foot home with six bedrooms, which was built in 1909 on Lake Minnetonka.

“It is truly outrageous when persons of considerable means steal from the government and all of us taxpayers through abusing the social welfare system,” Freeman said Friday. “We will prosecute this case with all the capacity we have.”

Sources: Reuters, Daily Mail