Million-Dollar Yacht Owners Accused of Welfare Fraud


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Colin and Andrea Chisolm don't seem like typical welfare recipients. Court documents state that he is the former chief executive officer of a company and she a pedigree dog breeder. They allegedly drove a Lexus and lived on a million-dollar yacht off the coast of Florida. Minnesota prosecutors found it fishy that the Chisolms were apparently also collecting thousands in public assistance.

CBS reported on Monday:

According to the criminal complaints, over the years, the Chisholms received medical assistance, welfare payments and food stamp benefits. They also lied about where they were living, who they were living with and their source of income on more than a dozen forms they filled out for the state of Minnesota and Hennepin County in order to get the assistance.

When they first applied for welfare benefits, the couple listed their residence as Andrea's mother's home in Minneapolis, when they really owned a luxury home in Deephaven. However, shortly after getting approved for benefits, they moved to Florida. They remained in that state for at least 28 months, first on their $1.2 million yacht, and then moving to a house, officials said. They collected welfare from Florida, as well as Minnesota during that time, which people are prohibited from receiving simultaneously.

Prosecutors claim that this went on from 2005 until 2012 and that the Chisolms siphoned $165,000. The couple is "charged with a one count of wrongfully obtaining public assistance more than $35,000, a felony," according to Fox News.

Libertarians get a lot flak for expressing skepticism about the welfare. They are assumed (or outright accused) of hating the poor and wanting to take away their means of survival. The case brought against the Chisolms does not discredit honestly down-and-out people, but it is glaring reminder of the system's vulnerability to fraud.  

Bonus: The Chisolms also apparently pretended to be British aristocrats. It's like they knew the plot of American Hustle a decade in advance.

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  1. In their defense, it is really expensive to operate and maintain a yacht.

    1. If boat stands for bust out another thousand, I wonder what yacht stands for.

      1. Yet another cash hungry toy?
        Your account can’t handle this?
        Need one more. Rule of three and all that.

        1. Yesterday a cesspool had termites.


          Yetis and cheetahs hatch thimbles.



        2. Its Really Throat Warbler Mangrove?


          You are continuously hailing tugboats?


          Yar avast cap’n haul this?

  2. This $1.2 million yacht, is that the “street value?” Because when I hear numbers like that reported by cops and/or journalists, I assume they’re using restaurant math.

    1. That’s the value of the yacht after it is cut by 70% with rat poison, packaged in dime bags, and sold in NYC.

    2. Does anybody ever get back more than half what they payed when they sell something as custom and niche as a yacht?

      1. Have they tried the Somali Pirate market yet?

      2. Can’t you say that about pretty much anything used? Houses and kidneys are the only exceptions I can think of.

        1. What are used panties? Chopped liver?

        2. Houses decline in value too if you dont pump maintenance into them.

          Its the land under the house that increases in value.

  3. There is a small part of my brain that wants to scam a federal program to get back most of my tax dollars. Unfortunately I am risk adverse and do not enjoy the inside of a federal penitentiary, so I’ll have to settle with being robbed by top men.

    1. Can’t you get the geezers next door to do the scamming while you collect the checks? Hell, they don’t even need to know about it.

    2. Get an EBT card at least. Everyone gets those.

    3. I’m fairly convinced you could easily defraud Medicare if you fill out the right paperwork and be smart about it, meaning bill a normal volume of routine stuff.

      1. Many doctors make a career out of it.

      2. You easily can. You just can’t get too greedy and bring attention to yourself.

        1. +1 Irving Rosenfeld

    4. I am risk adverse and do not enjoy the inside of a federal penitentiary

      Sounds like the voice of experience.

      1. I worry more about the federal penitentiary enjoying the inside of me.

    5. I am not risk adverse at all, but I deal with the matter the same way you do: fly under the radar. I’d fly over the radar too, but I don’t have the means.

    6. Top Men has a totally different meaning in the clink.

    7. Unfortunately I am risk adverse and do would not enjoy the inside of a federal penitentiary

      That is what you meant, right?

  4. Why do I have this strange feeling the feds and the media are lying and there is more to this story than there seems? I can’t point to why other than my experience that almost anything reported in the media, especially about a sensational story, later turns out to be a lie.

    1. I’d be kinda surprised given that this woman is the embodiment of Reagan’s welfare queen.

      1. Me too. Maybe it is all true. Who knows. That doesn’t make me trust what I read in the media.

    2. The late David Brinkley went from being NBC news corespondent and cheerleader for the team to an acerbic libertarian.

  5. I bet you that a very large percentage of welfare “benefits” are fraudulent in one way or another. It’s clearly becoming nothing more than an unnecessary supplement with which to buy votes. Not a “safety net.”

    1. There was a time when it wasn’t about buying votes?

      1. Probably not, but not this many votes.

        1. C’mon man, Give America a Raise!

    2. Thanks for visiting us again, ‘Murcan!

      Oh! ProL!….

      1. That was uncalled for. I has a sad face.

        1. Yeah, that was a pretty low blow….sorry

          1. It’s all right, I deserve it for living in Florida and not paying a state income tax.

            1. Not paying taxes is a subsidy!

              1. I can’t argue with that. In fact, keeping any of your income is a subsidy.

            2. RACIST!

    3. Fuck you. I need my EBT. *Casts withering glare over top of designer sunglasses, buys $200 of steak and lobster*

    4. Welfare benefits are a “safety net for politicians.

    5. It’s just too bad we live in a world in which data doesn’t exist and we have to rely on feelings and anecdote.

      1. Is that your excuse?

  6. If you go to a harbor wearing jeans and a t-shirt with 6-pack of beer in your hands you will find that there is a disconnected sub-culture of otherwise rational men who tend to the errands of wealthy yacht owners. If fact, many yacht owner don’t know how to operate the darned things to begin with and don’t have a navigational licence that says they’ve learned something.

    There are hitchhikers who live without a care in the world, in any harbor, but only to connect wealthy yacht owners with their dreams of adventure.

    1. “Boat Guy”, a new series on TNT coming this fall.

      1. Don’t become a local fisherman they call “big fatty face”.

    2. Seriously, there is some good fiction/TV shows waiting to be made out of that.

      1. I came across some small, fancy yacht club in a wealthy suburb of a large city, and the walk-out basement was set up like a stoner den. It reminded me of something like Caddyshack, only with boats.

        1. Boat Guys make stoners look like amateurs. they’re drunk before noon yet can still fix diesel engines with one arm tied behind their back.

    3. widget|4.3.14 @ 2:52PM|#

      If you go to a harbor wearing jeans and a t-shirt with 6-pack of beer in your hands…”

      I really felt like sniffing, and saying in my best “Grey Poupon” accent, “But of *course*. Is there any *other* way?”

      For the record = I have NEVER, ever, ever, ever, entered a harbor without a day’s worth of beer on my person. To do so simply isn’t civilized

      I also tend to wear clothes that have previously been covered in blood, puke, beer, and salt water.

      You see, I like Offshore Fishing. Which is another way of saying, “8 hours of drinking on a boat, with ~2-3 hours of actual fishing”

      Mahi Mahi/ Dorado is my favorite just for the blend of quantity-catch, good eats, fun fights, and beautiful color.

      I’d post some movies if I could, but here’s what I mean =


  7. I did a return yesterday, a couple both over 70.

    Pension income, collecting SS, various W-2s, interest & dividends, rental income…AND COLLECTING 22k IN UNEMPLOYMENT.

    Fuck them.

    1. How is that legal? Both pensions and SS imply retirement.

      1. Having a pension doesn’t make it illegal to work. And if you lose your job, you are entitled to unemployment.

      2. I’m not sure. After 4/15 I am going to look into what questions are asked when applying for unemployment because I am so curious as to how this would happen.

        1. Unemployment is a benefit that is not determined by your income. If you lose your job, you get it. The fact that you have a pension or a spouse that still has a job makes no difference.

          Your clients are not doing anything illegal by collecting a pension and unemployment.

          1. Social security too though?

            1. Yup. Social Security is paid out based on what you paid in and does not take into account any outside income. Warren Buffett gets his max social security just like anyone else who paid in the max.

              1. Interesting, like I said above I don’t know much at all about how collecting unemployment works. I’ve seen clients with unemployment 1099-Gs before, but they were genuinely unemployed and not retired. Or “retired” in this case.

                1. I would have thought that “retired” meant that you were no longer working. Silly me.

                  1. Zeb,

                    If the deal I have with you says “I work for Zeb for 30 years and in return Zeb gives me a retirement check”, why would that or should that preclude me from going to work for CPA after I retire from working for you? My deal with you has nothing to do with my deal with him.

                    1. Absolutely, you are right. But you are not retired in that case because you are still working.
                      I really didn’t mean much by it. I’m just amused by how people use words. You can retire from a particular job, but if you still have another job, you are not a retired person.

                  2. HA! Zeb, I would like to introduce you to the gubmint double and triple dippers…

                    20 years in military – 1st dip
                    go to work for other gubmint agency for vesting required years – 2nd dip
                    finally, go work for gubmint contractor for enough years to vest – 3rd dip

                    1. SSF,

                      Your example is me just working for Zeb three different times. That is a problem. But me working for Zeb and then someone else after I retire is not.

                      The problem you give is with the government not with retirees working in general.

                    2. You’d have to work for about 80 years to get all three pensions. In which case I’d say you’ve earned it.

              2. I thought there was an income limit when on social security benefits.

                1. No DRS there is no income limit. All working does is at some point make your SS benefits taxable. But you are considered to have earned the benefits by paying into the system. So making outside income is not going to make you ineligible just make more of it taxable.

                  1. Hence an important thing to realize as we approach April 15th – you pay income tax on the money the government takes for social security and you pay social security tax on the money they take for income tax.

                2. There’s not, thus all the talk about “means testing” SS benefits.

      3. Working in a credit union that is only open to construction trade unions I see this all the time. It is common to see members draw unemployment and a pensions check at the same time. People also line up side jobs that will only take a couple of days to complete then take an intentional layoff so they can draw unemployment while getting paid under the table. Depending on the trade a person is in it isn’t terribly difficult to collect unemployment while pulling down a full time paycheck.

        1. Unpossible!

        2. It would be interesting – though perhaps impossible – to know what the percentage of welfare recipients are who are pulling in money under the table.

          I’ve always felt strange about taking handouts – I’ve never used a food bank when I was starving in college or even taken unemployment when I could have (during a week long layoff).

          1. Most justify taking unemployment while working under the table by stating that they can’t “live” on unemployment. No, shit? The union guys have it down to a science.

    2. I am getting so cynical I am having a harder and harder time caring about these sorts of stories. We have people like Elon Musk stealing millions and getting away with it. Why shouldn’t your retirees get in on the action?

      1. Why shouldn’t your retirees get in on the action?

        Well, I object because I’m paying for it. Perhaps I need to figure out how to get around withholding…

        1. I understand that. At the same time I am so disgusted by people like Musk, I just can’t get my blood up that much over the average person stealing anymore.

          Like I said, I am that cynical these days.

          1. I know what you mean. I’ve actually begun considering getting in on the graft. My overdeveloped (and, apparently, foolish) sense of pride and utter lack of need for assistance have thus far prevented me from acting.

            It may be time…

          2. Musk is African so that is why you hate him no doubt.

            1. No. But he is a white South African. No wonder a white supremacist like you loves him.

              1. Why do you hate these successful capitalists?

                Reed Hastings (Netflix)

                Why do you hate success, John?

                1. The fact that you think a crony like Musk is a “successful capitalist” further makes my point that progs like you are barely even sentient these days.

                  1. So Paypal doesn’t qualify?

                    1. Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.

                      Musk has lain down with the dogs. Don’t matter what else he does, he’s got fleas.

    3. They’re fighting economic inequality!

  8. C’mon, folks. These guys are rich; we’re supposed to be defending them.

    1. I would suspect that they aren’t rich, but the article doesn’t have very much detail.

      If they were scamming the Gov, it’s fair to assume they were doing some private scamming too….

      1. I’m suspecting this too. Let’s pretend you have millions of dollars, and can afford to live aboard a multi-million dollar yacht. Why would you be interested in exposing yourself to felony charges for an extra $750 a month?

        I’m thinking they were just leveraged as shit, not unlike our federal government.

        1. The description of their business activities just screams “scam artists.”

          1. I’ve bought a lot of pedigreed dogs over they years, and without exception they’ve all been bred and raised aboard yachts. I’m sure this is on the level.

    2. You can buy Landrover and a castle to drive it to, then what?

      You can’t buy hands that have worked with rope for 20 years.

  9. Prosecutors claim that this went on from 2005 until 2012 and that the Chisolms siphoned $165,000

    That’s actually cheaper than hiring a bureaucrat who looks for fraud for the same time period.

    1. Call it $28K a year.

      I suspect that, among the ranks of welfare fraudsters, this is amateur hour.

  10. Theresa GrimesNEW12 days ago
    I bet that they moved to FL to avoid paying state taxes and to be part of the NRA and small government movement. Hypocrites, thieves and most likely racists who are the first to judge “those” people. I hope they go to jail for a long time.


    1. Yes, moving to Florida is a capital crime. As is moving to Washington and other states lacking income taxes.

      1. And CLEARLY they’re racists, cause Florida = White Hispanics Killin’ Black Kids? and no one else moves there for any other reason so……


    2. most likely racists who are the first to judge “those” people. I hope they go to jail for a long time.

      The irony it burns.

      1. Damn those people, always judging “those” people!

        1. What do you mean, “What do you mean, ‘those’ people”?

    3. How can you be “avoiding” something that doesn’t exist, such as income taxes in Florida? And to think, these people vote.

    4. That has to be parody, right?

      1. America has become a parody of itself.

    5. Jesus, that is as stupid as shreek’s Africa comment above, and that is sayin’ something.

    6. YOu have to move to FL to be ‘part of the NRA’? The NRA is an FL exclusive?

    1. Mo’ money mo’ problems.

      Mo’ children mo’ money.

      Therefore, by the transitive property, mo’ children mo’ problems. ODB’s a saint for taking on that burden.

    2. 13 kids. Nice.

    3. ODB did it with some class. Didn’t seem like he made any attempt to hide it. I remember seeing that on MTV and his saying something along the lines of “if they are handing out free money, of course I am going to take it”.

      1. In which case ODB understands incentives better than most progressives, which is to say, at all.

    4. Dirtay I got ya’ monay!

  11. The trend for many of these welfare program is to look at income only and ignore asset tests. With some savvy, a person with lots of assets can have very little income (as calculated by the gov). So I wouldn’t be surprising if there are a decent number of millionaires legally getting food stamps, medicaid/obamacare subsidies, and a number of other kinds of welfare.

    1. And don’t forget, the government can’t count income that it doesn’t know about against you. If you are working in the underground economy, you are “poor” as far as the government is concerned.

  12. Apparently they got busted in the Bahamas for overstaying, then they got packed onto a ship to Florida where the cops were waiting for them.

    This doesn’t sound like something a millionaire would do, either.

    1. Like I said above, likely everything the media is saying about this case is a lie.

      1. I can see Russia from my house!

        1. There was a meme running around Facebook and about a million lefty websites that Sarah Palin had suggested that maybe the Malaysian Airlines’ flight had gone directly to heaven. It was from a satirical website similar to the Onion and the Progs were too stupid to understand that it wasn’t real.

          Their level of intelligence barely qualifies as human anymore.

          1. I bet that dingbat does believe in Rapture.

            1. And shreek immediately posts something completely stupid to prove my point. It is almost like his purpose in life is to prove that even the worst things we think about Progs are actually true.

              1. It is almost like his purpose in life is to prove that even the worst things we think about Progs are actually true.

                It is. He’s playing a long-running joke.

                1. He is good at what he does Warty. You have to give him that.

              2. No, I took your word that the Malaysian plane bit was a send-up.

              3. That took all of 3 minutes to prove your point, John.

                1. It needs faster processing power.

                  1. It needs faster processing power.

                    Yo, Kurzweil! More faster processing won’t make it smarter.

              4. shreek immediately posts something completely stupid to prove my point

                Everything shreek! posts is completely stupid and only confirms how stupid he is.

                1. Everything shreek! posts is completely stupid and only confirms how stupid he is.

                  BECAUSE IT’S NOT SENTIENT!!!!!

                  Why you guys waste time training its neural net to say ever stupider and inflammatory stuff and then get pissed off when it posts the comments you are training it to make is beyond me.

                  1. Couldn’t we prove your theory by only responding to it with random words? Or actually agreeing with the stupidity it generates?

                    1. Dramatically retuning a neural net is a tricky business.

                      1) You have to stop rewarding it for the unwanted outcomes… completely.

                      2) Whenever it accidentally does something more desired than normal, you have to reward it unstintingly.

                      For example, let’s say you wanted to modify it into a bot that generated movie reviews. First, you would have to ignore anything it said that didn’t refer to a movie or television show, and write long responses to the comments about movies or television shows. Then, as it started to make more an more movie and television show related comments, you could fine tune it, for example giving longer responses to comments about movies where George Kennedy appears. Hell, I’ll bet with two years of careful work, we could train it to give the Erd?s?Bacon number number of any famous person in the news.

                    2. you mean,

                      You get more of what you reward, and less of what you punish?

  13. Please tell me they said, “…and we’d have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids!”

      1. Coins, worth hundreds of dollars, are buried at the bottom of the lake!

  14. Why did Minnesota not investigate this earlier? When you give money away, do you not ensure that it goes to people who deserve it according to the regulations? Why doesn’t Minnesota follow up on its grants? Too busy trying to fix polling results? Is this an under the table trophy?

    1. It probably costs more to follow up than to just write off the fraud. Easier to just pretend the fraud doesn’t exist until you are given no choice.

    2. If you start investigating welfare fraud, it’s only because you want grandmothers to live in the gutter and eat cat food.

      1. I realize you’re joking, but when progressives use that for an example, I think to myself, cat food can’t be that bad. I know a man, who pre-Islamic revolution Iran, was a Ph.D. candidate at UCLA. He didn’t understand American culture very well, so he thought those little cans were pate’ and the cat on the label was the company’s trademark. He loved the stuff. I wonder about that now because if you look at cans of Iam’s dog food, there are some that say “chunks” and some that say “pate'”. I wonder if there are foreigners eating Iam’s “pate'” right now.

        1. We feed our cats some canned “pate'” cat food. I have never, ever desired to try it. For any reason.

        2. He must have been very puzzled by the cashier’s small talk. “So, what kind of cat do you have?”

  15. Everybody knew the plot of American Hustle a decade in advance. Hell, 3 decades.

    1. AH was an excellent film on so many levels.

      Just for the time capsule 70s mojo for one example.

      The acting was superb – esp Amy Adams and Jen Lawrence.

      1. And I was actually thinking about renting that this weekend. Now that it’s got the endorsement of one of our resident retards, I think I’ll pass.

        1. I on the other hand hated it. The acting was good but, that alone doesn’t make a good movie.

        2. Best 70’s movie I’ve seen to date remains “Dazed and Confused”. It was like I was in high school again. Clothes, hair, cars, language – NAILED IT!

          The awesomeness of it all helped me overlook the fact that Matthew McConaughey is in it…

  16. Libertarians get a lot flak for expressing skepticism about the welfare. They are assumed (or outright accused) of hating the poor and wanting to take away their means of survival.

    Well, as you guys always say, intentions are all that matter.

    1. “Well, as you guys always say, intentions are all that matter.”

      Does anybody even understand what this dipshit is trying to say?

      1. Parrots are entertaining, but their speech isn’t really language.

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