Attorney: Couple accused of welfare fraud needed money

MINNEAPOLIS - A husband and wife that once claimed they were Scottish royalty now say they have no money for bail.

Colin and Andrea Chisholm once owned a $1 million yacht and lived in a mansion in Deephaven, all while collecting more than $160,000 in public assistance, according to a criminal complaint.

However, Colin Chisholm's attorney Tom Kelly said his client has been living in poverty for years.

"He was eligible in many ways for his benefits," Kelly said.

Asked to explain his client's extravagant lifestyle, Kelly said the couple lived off loans and personal gifts from people who wanted to help the Chisholms out.

Kelly is considered private counsel for Colin Chisholm but said he is not being paid. Meanwhile, Andrea Chisholm applied for a public defender and was appointed attorney Sean Cahill.

Both attorneys argue their clients, who were arrested in Florida, are not flight risks.

"My understanding is that Mrs. Chisholm was returning to the state in order to take responsibility for her actions," Cahill said.

The couple knew they were being investigated for fraud months before they were charged and wanted to work on a resolution, Kelly told a judge Friday afternoon at a bail hearing. The Hennepin County attorney's office argued no effort to resolve the case was made.

Bail was raised to $300,000 for both. The couple was also forced to surrender passports and they had to sign extradition waivers. Their next bail argument is set for April 29.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment