Colin and Andrea Chisholm, Palm Beach Couple Accused of Welfare Fraud, Are On the Run
Sir Colin Chisholm III and his wife, Lady Andrea Chisholm, the extravagant Minnesota couple who lived for a time in Palm Beach on a $1.2 million yacht, are on the lam from authorities. They're also not royalty, and their extravagant lifestyle was earned fraudulently, a criminal complaint alleges.
Colin, 62, and Andrea, 54, collected more than $167,000 in welfare, food stamps, and medical assistance from Minnesota while living on an 83-foot yacht in Palm Beach over the past seven years, according to the complaint, which was filed with a Minnesota state court.
The Chisholms, who remain at large, lied about the source of their income, where they were living, and who they were living with, prosecutors say.
"Colin Chisholm portrays himself as a Scottish aristocrat who is a wealthy and successful executive in the broadcasting industry," the complaint says.
Colin created fake companies with bank accounts of more than a million dollars while claiming he was a Scottish aristocrat. The complaint says the couple failed to report nearly $3 million they had deposited in the accounts. They also failed to report having lived in a luxury home in Deepahaven in Minnesota.
The complaint also says the Chisholms collected welfare in Florida while living in Palm Beach and had claimed they also had a home in Connecticut. The Connecticut home address turned out to be a UPS store.
According to the complaint, Colin and Andrea collected more than $167,000 between 2005 and 2012 and were eventually flagged during a Medica investigation, which is a health insurance network in the state of Minnesota, that tipped off Hennepin County officials to the welfare fraud.
The Chisholms told officials they were were living with Andrea's mother in Minneapolis in 2005. Not long after applying for welfare assistance, they bought the $1.2 million Palm Beach yacht and moved into it, according to the complaint.
While living on the yacht, the couple continued to receive welfare benefits and medical assistance, including the prenatal care for Andrea in 2006 and 2007, the complaint says. Andrea also allegedly used $60,000 of public assistance money for spa massages.
According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, authorities say the last time the Chisholms made a transaction of any kind in the States was September, when they cashed out a $120,000 check in $100 bills.
Should they ever get caught, the Chisholms could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.