Wealthy Minnesota couple arrested in Florida for welfare fraud - KMSP-TV

WELFARE FRAUD: Wealthy Minn. couple deported from Bahamas, arrested in Florida

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

A wealthy couple wanted on welfare fraud charges in Minnesota was deported from the Bahamas on Monday and arrested the same night when they arrived in Florida.

Colin Chisholm III and his wife Andrea made their initial court appearance Tuesday in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. They are being held without bond until their next court appearance Wednesday, when they will decide whether to fight extradition or willingly return to Minnesota and stand trial.

THE INVESTIGATION

The Hennepin County sheriff's investigation started at the couple's home in Deephaven, Minn. and expanded to multiple locations across the United States before coming to an end in the Bahamas.

The Minnesota Violent Crime Task Force, which includes the FBI, was able to contact the Miami FBI office and other federal agencies last week. Miami agents then informed every Florida port to keep an eye out for the Chisholms.

THE TAKEDOWN

The couple was visited by police in Freeport, Grand Bahama on Monday and told their visas had expired. Officers escorted the couple, their son and their dog onto a boat to Florida, where agents were waiting at Port Everglades.

Colin and Andrea Chisholm were booked into the Broward County Jail, while their son and dog were turned over to other family members.

THE CHARGES

The Chisholms are charged with one count each of wrongfully obtaining public assistance over $35,000.

Between 2005 and 2012, the couple allegedly received more than $165,000 from various government programs designed to help the poor. During that period of welfare fraud, the couple owned a luxury yacht and has nearly $3 million in their bank accounts.

"These rich folks ripped off the system," said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

FIRST REPORT: Couple living in yacht charged with welfare fraud

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