MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A run from the law ended in the Bahamas for a Minnesota couple accused of receiving welfare while living in luxury.
Colin Chisholm III and his wife, Andrea Chisholm, were put on a boat Monday night and sent back to the U.S. They appeared in court Tuesday in Florida while officials worked to get them back to Minnesota.
Both are in jail in Miami after a judge denied them bond. The couple is accused of collecting food stamps, Medicaid and cash from Minnesota and Florida while living on a $1.2 million yacht.
This was a surprising revelation to Dr. Mike King, the couple’s neighbor in Minnesota.
“I was a bit shocked to find out that these allegations were raised,” he said.
King lives next door to the home the Chisolms lived in near Lake Minnetonka in Deephaven.
Aside from referring to one another as the “Lord” and “Lady”, the Chisolms were, for the most part, normal neighbors, King said.
“I found Andrea and Colin both very personable and affable people,” King said. “They’ve come into our home on occasion, they’ve had dinner.”
Colin Chisholm said he was part of an entertainment company, and Andrea Chisholm said she was a high-end dog trainer, breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Everything seemed neighborly until King said Colin Chisholm asked him for a $100,000 investment into his house, saying he wanted to put it on the historic registry.
“That was the first scheme that I heard from Colin that made me question, you know, his credibility,” he said.
King, a cardiologist, says the case against the couple is personal, and not just because he knows them.
“I see a lot of homeless, sick, and destitute patients, and to think that taxpayers are supporting a fraud like this [has] been very unsettling,” he said.
Court papers say the couple claimed at one point they were jobless and had only $80 in cash while they were quietly funneling cash through Andrea’s dementia-stricken grandmother’s account.
As for what unravels next, a decision whether to move them to Minnesota is expected in the next few days.