If the police are correct, Colin Chisholm III, 62, and Andrea Chisholm, 54, just may be the most outrageous welfare frauds in history. The Chisholms lived on a $1.2 million yacht when they were not in one of their expensive homes. However, they still collected more than $160,000 in state welfare benefits. They each face one count of welfare fraud. They also portrayed themselves as Lord Colin A.J. & Lady Chisholm of Struy.
It is a belong to fraudulently accept public assistance worth more than $35,000. The Chisholms are charged with lying to get food stamps, medical benefits, and other benefits from 2005 to 2012 in Minnesota and Florida. They collected welfare in both states at the same time.
While collecting welfare, they lived the high-life. Colin Chisholm claimed to be a Scottish aristocrat and identified himself as Lord Colin Chisholm, III and his wife as Lady Chisholm. He also claimed to be a wealthy and successful executive in the broadcasting industry as the chief executive officer of TCN Network. Andrea Chishom ran Strathglass Kennels, a real dog kennel that bred and sold pedigree championship puppies, according to Freeman. Police say that she never reported that income which leads to the question of why they are not also charged with tax evasion.
The bizarre fantasy world is still apparent on the Strathglasskennel site which says
“Strathglass Kennel has a long tradition going back to 1800 hundreds in Strathglass Scotland.
In 1912 in Westchester, New York Mr. Hugh J. Chisholm carried that traditions forward and today Colin A.J. and Lady Andrea Chisholm of Struy carry on a first rate Breeding and Show Kennel.”
One report says that they attempted to rip off friends in Florida by asking for a $100,000 investment in one of their homes that Colin claimed was a historic site. What is curious is that this couple appears have made some money. These homes and this boat did not come from welfare fraud. It is not clear what the source of that money is beyond the kennel operation.
Thus far, the case seems undercharged given the alleged scope of the deceptions allegedly perpetrated by the couple. I am not concerned with the lies about being royalty or his claim to be an executive. However, there appears to be a broad range of fraudulent acts alleged in the complaint beyond a single count of welfare fraud.