You know those people you’re always talking about when it comes to welfare fraud and mooching off the government? Well, ironically, this couple looks just like you.
Colin A.J. Chisholm and Andrea Lynne Chisholm, of Deephaven, Minnesota, are wanted for bilking the state government out of $167,420 in fraudulent medical and food-stamp claims from 2005 to 2012.
The Chisholms purported themselves as a poor couple barely making ends meet and only had $80 to their name. But what they failed to mention was the $1.2 million yacht docked in Florida, or the $1.6 million house they rented on Lake Minnetonka. And a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel pedigree breeding business that produced an award-winning dog at the Westminster dog show. And they some how managed to hide about $3 million in various bank accounts.
“These were rich folks ripping off the system,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, whose tone moved from humor to anger during Friday’s news conference. “I will make sure they do hard time.”
That’s if the police can find them. The Chisholms have been on the lam for six weeks, and Freeman hinted that they may be out of state and someplace warm.
Medical insurance fraud investigators suspected things were amiss when they learned the couple lived in a luxury lakeside home in Deephaven and that Colin Chisholm portrayed himself as a Scottish aristocrat who was a wealthy executive in the broadcasting industry.
Medical found that part of the $60,000 medical claims the company had paid out went for massages at The Marsh wellness center and spa in Minnetonka, court documents said. They received benefits from Minnesota even when they lived in Florida for two years, where they also obtained welfare checks.
The Chisholms were cut off at one point, but managed to get back into the system, Freeman said.
An arrest warrant has been issued for the Chisholms, who vacated their Deephaven home with no notice to the landlord and withdrew their son from school.
If they are found and convicted they face 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
“I can’t imagine a judge in this district allowing the Lord and Lady to get probation,” Freeman said.