Report: Welfare cheats lived on Florida yacht

Hennepin County (Minnesota) Attorney Mike Freeman held a press conference on a couple that alleged took $160,000 in welfare benefits while the husband claimed to be a Scottish aristocrat and broadcast executive. (AP photo)

Hennepin County (Minnesota) Attorney Mike Freeman accused a couple of fraud in obtaining $160,000 in welfare benefits while living aboard a 83-foot, $1.2 million yacht in Florida. (AP photo)

In any large group, there’s bound to be a few bad apples.

Welfare recipients, for example, are oft-maligned, but most probably follow the rules.

Some don’t.

A Minnesota couple who lived aboard a $1.2 million yacht in Florida is accused of collecting more than $167,000 in public assistance.

Colin Chisholm III, who claims to be Scottish royalty, and his wife, Andrea, are charged in Minnesota with a felony count of wrongfully obtaining public assistance.

Life was apparently good for the Chisholms, who also rented a $1.6 million home and had $3 million in various bank accounts.

Colin, 62, is reportedly the CEO of TCN Network, which claims to provide satellite TV and internet services to islands in the Caribbean.

Andrea, 54, owned a dog kennel which bred and sold championship dogs.

The couple filed for public assistance using the address of Andrea’s mother in Minnesota and said they only had $80 in the bank.

As soon as they went on the dole, they moved to Florida to live aboard the 83-foot boat they purchased in Fort Lauderdale. They collected welfare payments, food stamp benefits and medical assistance from Minnesota.

Then they filed for welfare in Florida and received it, despite it being illegal to get public assistance from more than one state.

The Chisolms later moved to a home in Florida, and then to a luxury home on Minnesota’s Lake Minnetonka, where $60,000 in medical claims were paid out for massages.

A neighbor described the couple as “the kindest people ever.”

A nationwide warrant is out for the Chisholms, whose whereabouts are currently unknown but are likely “someplace warm.” If you see them while yachting, please have your cabin boy call police.

More news from the internets:

121 comments Add your comment

James

March 25th, 2014
10:21 am

We have the same ilk here in Atlanta. They drive nearly new expensive cars and suv’s and use their welfare debt cards at the Kroger in Sandy Springs. I stand behind them in line weekly.

Bernie31

March 25th, 2014
10:30 am

James @ 10:21 am – The IRONY of your comment escapes YOU but NOT ME! The funniest part is YOU TOO! are just as POOR as the welfare USERS. The only difference is that You have a JOB but yet YOU are STILL in LINE Behind The POOR, buying FOOD!

Try missing 2-3 Paychecks and I am sure We Too will find ourselves behind Your Becky trying to Hide that Green & Orange Card.

uh…huh.

God does have a sense of Humor…..Truly!

Mitzymy

March 25th, 2014
10:35 am

It’s a shame that some people can get away with this, and others can’t. Years ago with my last child and a divorce, I had worked on my job for 10 years and applied for welfare because the company didn’t have a sick leave plan. You had to quit, have your baby, and then get rehired. I was only off for 4 months, but the welfare dept told me I had better let them know when I went back to work so that they could cut me off. If I failed to let them know, they would sue me. I couldn’t wait to let them know, and that is the one and only time that I received assistance from anyone.

Waiting for Hedley

March 25th, 2014
10:35 am

Sitting on my backside!

gadem

March 25th, 2014
10:44 am

This story is not true, because I know that that good GOD-fearing white man and his wife would not be on welfare, or cheat the system. The only people that are on welfare are minorities. I know this because Saint Ronnie and the GOP told me so.

ManBitesDog

March 25th, 2014
10:57 am

Geez, and I thought all those young, apparently healthy blacks and Hispanics in line at the supermarket using Food Stamps (EBT cards) were the only welfare cheats.

Now we learn there are others.

@gadem

March 25th, 2014
10:58 am

Denise

March 25th, 2014
11:01 am

@James…shut up!!! You don’t know what the !@#$ you are talking about. You assume and judge…making an @$$ of yourself. ALL OF YOU have ALWAYS made the assumption that ONLY one group of people receives welfare benefits. You will still refuse to believe this story and have pity on this couple.

Denise

March 25th, 2014
11:04 am

@gadem and @ManBitesDog Stupid called and is looking for your dumb @$$’s.

Bumper

March 25th, 2014
11:11 am

Colin and Andrea were only (eventually) found out because they were livin’ la vida loca in plain sight, and even then it took the government forever to catch on. Imagine how many other welfare cheats, the smarter ones who know how to keep their lifestyle under the radar, will never be caught.

Suprised? N-O-T!!!

March 25th, 2014
11:11 am

The end of this article is VERY racist! Have your ‘cabin boy’ call the cops? How tacky is that? NOT to mention again RACIST!!!!!

No suprises here. A lot of wealthy WHITE people are on welfare. I would like to know WHY isn’t this article showing a photo of the white couple? Yep..it’s because they are white. If they were any other race you best believe they would have their faces plastered all over the paper!

LaughterIsGood

March 25th, 2014
11:16 am

@gadem, you are hilarious. I released so many endorphines just then. Thanks for the laugh. I’m sure you wear ignorance well. Good day to you. :)

George Mathis

March 25th, 2014
11:19 am

Cabin boy is not a racist term, to my knowledge.

I am currently seeking a photo of the Chisolms that we have the rights to use.

Confused

March 25th, 2014
11:33 am

Confused… James, in the initial comment, did not imply anything about race, and cabin boy is not a racist term… derogatory maybe (though, I believe it *is* a real designation, just as is ‘bus boy’ in a restaurant and many other references), but not racist…. and there *is* a pic of the white couple committing this fraud… so, what’s with all the racial sensitivity? Bernie… get off it… again not *everything* is about race… please stop trying to interject race into *everything*… you just clutter up the discussion and take away from the real issue… This is a travesty… no one can even contribute to charity or help someone on the street any more because you can’t trust that the charity is honest or that the person on the street doesn’t drive a better car and live in a better house that *you* do….

ManBitesDog

March 25th, 2014
11:34 am

BTW, when is this column going to do a write-up on style tips—for hiding the face of a Food Stamp (EBT) card when using it at the check-out counter?

Steven

March 25th, 2014
11:37 am

Cabin Boy = Racist? It does say that the husband claims to be ‘Scottish Royalty’. Most Scots are Anglo-Saxon but these are grifters and, obviously, more greedy than smart. Only in Georgia, with its history of slavery, would a cabin boy be assumed to be black. I have noticed that many AJC bloggers have activated their race gene – not surprising with Georgia’s history but a little outdated. These grifters are not very smart taking on the Minn. and federal governments. Unlike Georgians, Minnesotans trust their government, fund it, and mostly abide by the law. Off to the clink for these two, as soon as we round them up. Whatever money is left will be retrieved and, I bet, the state attorney can make a good case for tapping into that multimillion dollar bank account to make up the money spent, interest on the loan, and probably a nice penalty fee. MN may come out ahead on this one. One less Royal Scot to worry about and, in a few years, two minimum wage workers without many skills for the MN workforce. Maybe the cabin boy will give them a job.

Brace4impactz

March 25th, 2014
11:45 am

Those who malign all poor people for the actions of a few will have their day too, and it will be too late for excuses.

TMan

March 25th, 2014
11:50 am

They can afford good representation in court and will receive a slap on the wrist, little restitution and no jail time. Talk about an unfair system. We have it here in the great old USA.

Andy

March 25th, 2014
11:50 am

Welfare and public assistance fraud is HUGE regardless of which side of the tracks the recipients live on.

Dan

March 25th, 2014
11:52 am

It amazes me how quick many of you are to pull the race card. Every race has it’s issues and each race is eager to point the finger at the others wrong doing. This story just shows how corrupt the Welfare system is. For example, if you are on EBT you can buy fresh seafood. If you are having to rely on food stamps you shouldn’t get the luxury of eating crab legs and what not. Another is that many of these people who claim to “need” welfare have an iPhone or other smartphone. Right there is $30 a month that could be going towards better use! Not saying everyone is this way just many seem to be, I am all for helping people(temporary) but NOT supporting people ( long term).

Andy

March 25th, 2014
11:52 am

Every time a welfare recipient trades their food stamps for something other than allowed food from a store, its welfare fraud and lets be honest, it happens 1000’s a time a day in metro ATL alone.

Andy

March 25th, 2014
11:53 am

Should say food stamp fraud…..

Road Scholar

March 25th, 2014
11:56 am

I hope the courts fine them heavily and require them to do public work!

Where are all the cons stating that this is an exception?

Mirror Mirror - who is the fairest

March 25th, 2014
11:58 am

Where’s Neil Boortz? Where’s Herman Cain?

——–Are these the folks who are always looking for a “Hand Out?”

No…could be a golfing buddy – or your neighbor….

You see, the same qualities you say you loath…are some of the same qualities you see in you “class” of folks also…..

HIPOCRACY AT IT’S BEST………GOP YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS? :)

Reality

March 25th, 2014
11:59 am

Oh, and there are many LIBERAL White people steal from Welfare and the taxpayers of this country. And, there are Black’s that are working taxpayers ……So don’t give me that racist BS.

Mirror Mirror - who is the fairest

March 25th, 2014
12:02 pm

@Road Scholar….

No – these folks can “afford” a good lawyer – they will claim emotinal stress….hand pick the jury that will “get them off easy” and that will be the end of that…..

Because –how else could you explain it…folks of that class “frauding” the government – there must be a “good” reason why they did what they did correct?

We would expect this low down behavior from the lower classes correct?

Wow………..

Andy

March 25th, 2014
12:06 pm

These people should simply ask for a bench trial and tell the judge its the new Obama entitlement culture and we’re just getting a piece of our pie. After all your honor, its the USDA under the Obama Administration adverting on all of these geezer stations we listen to telling us how much better somebody looks because they are now eating off EBT.

anonymous

March 25th, 2014
12:11 pm

@James…it is also possible that the individuals you have seen in nice cars have fallen on hard time due to job loss, illness, etc…. It is also possible that they are shopping for someone else who is eligible to receive food stamp assistance (someone disabled or elderly) and is unable to shop for themselves. People make too many assumptions without knowing all the facts…

Mirror Mirror - who is the fairest

March 25th, 2014
12:18 pm

Major Downing

March 25th, 2014
12:19 pm

Yeah @Andy blame the Obama Administration and poor. Typical right wing drival. The truth of the matter is corporate America needs the these programs to keep our 401’s healthy. Ain’t mad at the poor. They contribute by using EBT if not my 401 would look horrible.

Major Downing

March 25th, 2014
12:21 pm

See the story about WalMart needing EBT for its bottom line. Google it. This blog won’t allow web links

Logical Dude

March 25th, 2014
12:23 pm

“$60,000 in medical claims were paid out for massages”

Wait, I can claim massages?

Andy

March 25th, 2014
12:24 pm

Wow. I can’t believe someone could be so stupid. Either you’re on EBT and can’t afford to contribute to a 401K or you have a 401K and are guilty of contributing to your own self-created fake problem. Keep living in fantasy land.

SAY WHAT?

March 25th, 2014
12:24 pm

BUT THE biggest welfare cheats are the corporations, yet all of you spew hate for the people in your community, Why? Because you do not see the bigger picture. Any of you notice the next story, Walmarts says, Food Stamps creates its biggest profit. They are living on the government dole because #1 they don’t pay a living wage,so their employees still qualify for Food Stamps and Medicaid, sometimes, cash benefits, #2 those same employees use their purchasing power to help their employer make sales, thus driving profits.
Once again, why aren’t you name calling the cheats you do not see but you know exist? It must be easier to hate a specific person rather than the corporation. Tell your retirement account managers to divest from Walmart. We will all be better off.

White Ghost

March 25th, 2014
12:26 pm

“Cabin boy” in Florida is either Hispanic or Haitian. Wealth by appearance also comes in all colors down here.

SAY WHAT?

March 25th, 2014
12:26 pm

That was going to be some kind of party at the Vatican with all that cocaine and used condoms.

Logical Dude

March 25th, 2014
12:27 pm

Dan ” If you are having to rely on food stamps you shouldn’t get the luxury of eating crab legs and what not.”
You’ve never been on assistance, have you?

Frederick Douglass

March 25th, 2014
12:31 pm

Colin Chisholm III Scottish royalty; they call him Quintavious when he makes his annual sojourn to his Newcastle upon Tyne crib.

Moist Dawg

March 25th, 2014
12:32 pm

why is this news the kennedys do this every day

Bernie31

March 25th, 2014
12:44 pm

The Biggest in Size and Largest Group in America and Georgia who actively Particiates in The Food Stamp Program is BECKY (White female working full time) and DEM ( Her) (2) Two Kids who LQQK like everyone in your household and community. Over (30) Thirty Million of them every (30) Thirty Days!

BEGGIN!

Mark

March 25th, 2014
12:48 pm

Ok folks. There is a lot of energy and emotion being spent here but what is it resolving? There are a lot of good people in the country that need help from time to time as well as those who need it regularly. I dare say deep down most of you do offer help in many ways to those who need it. The bottom line is we can do a lot for those who really need help if we stop the cheats and the waste we just read about. That’s what the real problem is. It is apparently too easy to defraud our government and it’s agencies resulting in enormous waste. We need to be holding our leaders accountable for fixing what’s broken instead of just throwing more money at a problem hoping it will disappear from the front page of the news.

4xtra

March 25th, 2014
12:49 pm

There are people on here SOMEHOW blaming BLACKS AND MINORITIES and the suspect is WHITE?
WOW
You MUST be from Georgia with your ignorance……
Seriously …I am just bewildered over here with your total stupidity

Bernie31

March 25th, 2014
1:04 pm

It Blows their Minds when they are Told just who the REAL FOOD STAMP Partakers in America REALLY Are. Such a revelation puts the matter into perspective very Quickly. Because we Jest cannot have ALL of those Blond Hair and Blue Eyed Babies, going without Food and Healthcare can we?

Dat Jest wouldn’t Be Riiiiitttte!

Class of '98

March 25th, 2014
1:04 pm

“In any large group, there’s bound to be a few bad apples.”

Yes, because welfare recipients are all hard-working, honest, intelligent, educated people.

Rolling my eyes.

Pistol66

March 25th, 2014
1:05 pm

GADEM, how do you know they are white? I would assume otherwise if they have business connections in the islands!

coj

March 25th, 2014
1:08 pm

Most welfare recipients are white. And that doesn’t include all the welfare that goes to the rich. And the person who said that welfare fraud is huge and implies that it is huge because of fraud by the recipients is just NOT TRUE. The worst and most fraud is found among businesses and those who game the system and are not poor.

Moist Dawg

March 25th, 2014
1:10 pm

why does the bernie guy capitalize everything?

Nita

March 25th, 2014
1:12 pm

Perplexed

March 25th, 2014
1:12 pm

It was pretty easy to find some pictures of this couple with a Google search. Not sure why one didn’t accompany this article, but I’m not a columnist with access to tons of resources. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2586418/Scottish-aristocrats-luxury-lakeside-home-charged-fraud.html

Sorry to see this story take on so many comments about race. I swear someone could say the sun is orange and before long there would be some crazy comment bringing race into the mix. Just enjoy the article and move on.

Worker

March 25th, 2014
1:26 pm

Blacks make up 13% of the population, but account for the majority of welfare benefits.