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Cops look for couple living aboard luxury yacht while collecting welfare

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Police are searching in Florida for a married couple from Minnesota, Colin Chisholm III and Andrea Chisholm, who were both charged with fraud after it was discovered that they collected more than $165,000 in food stamps and other public assistance while living a lavish lifestyle in Florida, which included living aboard the $1.2 million yacht they purchased shortly after applying for welfare.

According to a March 21 report from Reuters, the two collected public assistance in Florida from 2005 until their welfare benefits were terminated in 2012.

Charges were filed against Colin Chisholm in February, but were kept sealed while authorities searched for the couple. “They know by now we are looking for them," said a spokesperson for the Hennepin County, Minn. prosecutor’s office.

The Chisholms are each charged with a felony count of wrongfully obtaining public assistance in excess of $35,000, the highest threshold under Minnesota law. Andrea Chisholm was charged on Thursday.

While living aboard their $1.2 million yacht around Palm Beach, Fla. and collecting public assistance, the couple actually claimed to be still living in Minnesota.

They also managed to deposit more than $2.6 million into bank accounts that was not declared on their welfare applications.

According to the complaint against them, the Chisholms “have lived in luxury homes in suburban Minneapolis, driven a $30,000 Lexus and also collected welfare benefits in Florida.”

(Article updated March 25 with cover image of Colin Chisholm III and Andrea Chisholm.)

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