(OPINION) — These are the faces of welfare fraud in the U.S. that the Republican Party would choose to ignore…
Colin Chisholm III and his wife, Andrea, allegedly received more than $165,000 in food stamps and other public assistance benefits for a 7-year-period while living on a multi-million yacht in Florida. Um, these people aren’t in the 47 percent of Americans Mitt Romney called deadbeats.
The couple, residents of Minnesota, were caught in the Bahamas after police told them their visas had expired. They were escorted, along with their son and dog, onto a ship bound for Fort Lauderdale. The ‘Scottish aristocrats’ were arrested on their arrival in Port Everglades, according to a statement from Hennepin County prosecutor, Mike Freeman’s office.
Colin and Andrea Chisholm were each charged with a felony count of wrongfully obtaining public assistance in excess of $35,000.
The couple purchased a $1.2 million yacht, known as The Andrea Aras in April 2005, shortly after applying for welfare benefits in Minnesota, according to criminal complaints which were originally filed in February but remained sealed while authorities searched for them.
The Chisholms lived on the yacht near Palm Beach, Fla., for 28 months while they claimed to be living in Minnesota, the complaints say. Colin Chisholm was the chief executive officer of a satellite TV and broadband services company, while his wife bred pedigree dogs.
The Chisholms allegedly deposited more than $2.6 million in bank accounts not reported on their applications for welfare benefits between 2005 and 2012, the complaints say. They lived in luxury homes in suburban Minneapolis and previously owned a $30,000 Lexus. They also collected benefits in Florida.
Colin and Andrea Chisholm are two rich people trying to rip off the system, all the while people like Paul Ryan and others in the Republican Party as screaming for cuts to food stamps and other programs to help the poor, insinuating that there’s fraud. Yeah, there’s fraud from rich white folks ripping off the system.