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Yacht Couple Accused Of Swindling Investors With Sham Corporations

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The couple that called themselves “Lord and Lady Chisholm” are in more trouble, as prosecutors say they were also swindling investors in sham corporations.

The claims were made in court documents filed Tuesday by prosecutors who are trying to keep Colin and Andrea Chisholm’s bail at $300,000 while also seeking a potentially higher prison sentence.

Prosecutors say that while the Chisholms were collecting more than $160,000 in welfare and food stamps from Minnesota and Florida, they were also swindling investors of hundreds of thousands of dollars through sham broadcasting companies.

The prosecution identified one of the corporations as The Caribbean Network, or TCN.

Tom Kelly, the attorney for Colin Chisholm, said that the company was not a sham, but that it was a”start up,” and investors should have known that.

In court, Andrea Chisholm’s attorney argued that her $300,000 bail should be reduced to nothing. The attorney said that she be allowed to live in her mother’s south Minneapolis home so she could care for the family’s 7-year-old son.

Prosecutors fired back, saying that this was the same home the Chisholms claimed to be living in when they applied for welfare benefits. In reality, the couple had been living on their $1.4 million yacht in Florida and later at a 5,000-square-foot lake home in Deephaven, Minn.

The judge sided with prosecutors and left the bail at $300,000 each.

Andrea Chisholm’s court appointed public defender, Sean Cahill, said that his now penniless client cannot afford the bail and will have to remain in the Hennepin County Jail.

He also denied that the Chisholms fled Minnesota and that they later tried to flee to the Bahamas to avoid prosecution.

“I think it’s an unfortunate mischaracterization,” Cahill said. “It is my understanding, after speaking with Miss Chisholm, is that they were trying to return to Florida.”

Colin Chisholm is also expected to remain in the Hennepin County Jail.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office is not commenting on any additional charges, saying the investigation is ongoing.

The couple’s next court appearance is June 9.

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