Couple Charged with Ripping Off Minnesota for Welfare Benefits from Yacht in Florida

Colin Chisholm III and his wife Andrea, who received over $165,000 in public assistance from the state of Minnesota between 2005 and 2012 while living on a yacht in Florida, have been charged with fraud, and a manhunt is underway to find them.

The charges against Colin Chisholm were filed in February but not made public because police had been searching for the Chisholms. His wife was only charged last Tuesday. Chuck Laszewski, a spokesman for prosecutor Mike Freeman, said Friday, "They know by now we are looking for them."

The threshold for public assistance in Minnesota is $35,000; the Chisholms are each charged with a felony for exceeding that. The Chisholms bought a $1.2 million yacht, The Andrea Aras, in 2005. Their claims for benefits were made just prior to that date. While they lived in Palm Beach, Florida, they told the state they were still living in Minnesota. Between 2005 and 2012 they deposited more than $2.6 million in bank accounts which were not listed on their applications for welfare benefits.


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