Colin Chisholm III, Andrea Chisholm: Couple accused of welfare fraud, living on yacht in Florida

(KARE) Felony charges were filed Friday against a sometime Minnesota couple for an egregious case of alleged welfare fraud.

The accused are Colin Chisholm III, 62, and Andrea Chisholm, 54.

The couple is charged with bilking Minnesota public assistance programs for more than $165,000 between January 2005 and March 2012.

When the Chisholms first applied for welfare, according to Hennin County Attorney Michael Freeman, they claimed to be living at 3202 Harriet Avenue South in Minneapolis.

Actually, they were living on a $1.4 million yacht in the Palm Beach area, Reuters reports.

The Chisholms also allegedly took money illegally from Florida welfare programs.

"Mr. Chisholm, in particular, is a con man of the first order," said Freeman. "He created all sorts of false companies. He claimed he was a Scottish heir ('Lord' Chisholm). 'Lady' Chisholm participated in these frauds and it is outrageous."

The presumptive sentence for the crime upon conviction, for defendants with no prior criminal records, is probation. However, Freeman was adamant that he will seek an upward departure from sentencing guidelines.

The Chisholms are not under arrest. Freeman said he believes they are out of the United States "someplace warm." He said there is a warrant out for their arrest.

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