Scottish aristocrats Colin Chisholm III, 62, and his wife Lady Andrea, 54, of Deephaven, Minnesota,as they would like to be referred to, have been charged with welfare fraud after fraudulently receiving up to $167K in government assistance. Making their crime noxious is the fact that authorities discovered the pair who bilked the system from 2005-2012 had $3 million in cash stashed away whilst living on a 83 ft luxury million dollar yacht called the Andrea Aras off the coast of Florida.
Whilst the couple have yet to be apprehended authorities have pledged to do everything in their power to bring them to justice. The couple have been on the run since law enforcement agents launched a search for the pair last month.
Off the estimated $167K the couple illicitly received, it is believed $60,000 of it went toward massages at a spa.
Reiterated Virginia Mance Chisholm of North Carolina, who was married to him for more than 20 years and helped investigators in Minnesota build their case: ‘He’s a con artist. This is what he did for a living.’
Told Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman during a press conference yesterday: ‘These were rich folks ripping off the system,’
‘I will make sure they do hard time.’
While probation is the lightest sentence allowable for the charges of welfare fraud, Freeman vowed to push for prison time, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.
Reiterated Freeman: ‘I can’t imagine a judge in this district allowing the Lord and Lady to get probation,’ Freeman quipped.
The maximum sentence is a $100,000 fine and 20 years behind bars.
Along with their yacht, the Scottish aristocrats are said to possess a grand, six-bedroom lakeside home, a beach property in Florida and a $30,000 Lexus. To boot the couple are said to have $3 million in bank accounts which they failed to declare whilst they collected food stamps and assistance from other various government assistance programs both in Minnesota and Florida.
Court filings indicated that Colin Chisholm did not declare that he ran a business nor Lady Chisholm that she had a dog kennel which breeds championship-worthy Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Filings also show that Colin Chisholm III has claimed that he is from a long line of Scottish aristocracy and is a wealthy broadcasting executive.
Yes kids, my head is reeling too. I’m slowly sipping my chamomile tea on this one…
Continuing….according to the website for their company Strathglass Kennel, the couple trace their roots to the Clan Chisholm from the small village of Struy in the Scottish Highlands.
Chisholm is listed as the president and CEO of TCN Network, a satellite TV company serving the Carribbean.
More than $1 million dollars flowed through accounts he controlled as part of that company, the complaint states.
The couple were living with Lady Chisholm’s mother in Minneapolis when they first applied for welfare in 2005.
However for the next two years, they resided on their Florida yacht, and later at a beach property in the state, none of which was ever declared, investigators claim.
In April 2007, the Chisholms came back to Minnesota and filled out forms for more benefits.
In March 2008, they moved into a luxury home in Deephaven with Andrea’s grandparents Eloise and Francis Heidecker.
Francis died in February 2009 at age 94 and by September of that year, Eloise Heidecker and the Chisholms were evicted from the home.
They immediately moved to another Deephaven home on Lake Minnetonka with stunning waterfront views.
The home, built in 1909, is believed to have six bedrooms, five bathrooms and stretch to 5,800 sq ft set on 1.6 acres.
None of these details were declaired on welfare forms – nor the fact Andrea Chisholm had power of attorney and controlled the finances of her elderly grandmother.
Reiterated Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman: ‘It is truly outrageous when persons of considerable means steal from the government and all of us taxpayers through abusing the social welfare system.
‘We will prosecute this case with all the capacity we have.’
Hennepin County’s Human Services and Public Health Department terminated all welfare benefits to the Chisholms at the end of March 2012.
Prosecutors will ask that the judge be allowed to impose a longer sentence than the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines call for because the Chisholms committed a major economic offense.
In the interim officials in Minnesota believe Andrea Lynne Chisholm, 54, and Colin A.J. Chisholm, III, 62, have left the country and headed ‘someplace warm.’ Naturally….