Colin Chisholm III, jailed this past January for fraudulently claiming over $160,000 in welfare checks, is facing federal charges of stealing more than $2 million from investors to fund his luxurious lifestyle.
Chisholm – who made multiple false claims about his family connections, including claiming to be a descendent from Scottish royalty – has been indicted on seven counts of wire fraud and six counts of mail fraud dating back to 2004, U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger announced Friday.
He is accused of stealing more than $2 million from investors in his bogus television network startup called The Caribbean Television Network.
The U.S. Attorney's release says he used the money to buy a yacht, rent his $1.6 million home on Lake Minnetonka, pay personal fitness and wellness expenses, and settle a $255,500 debt with Verizon.
He told investors the company would broadcast satellite TV throughout the Caribbean, which would serve as a "network" for multiple cable TV channels in the region.
"Mr. Chisholm claimed to have devised a creative and exciting investment opportunity," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Lola Velazquez-Aguilu in a press release. "However, it was built on a series of lies."
"Instead of providing a real possibility for a return on their investment, this defendant is charged with victimizing those who entrusted their money to him."
The 64-year-old and his wife hit the headlines last year when they were convicted of claiming more than $160,000 of welfare checks despite having millions in the bank, infamously styling themselves as Lord and Lady Chisholm through their Scottish "connections."
In the indictment, Chisholm allegedly told investors in his TV startup he had close ties to the Bush family, that he was the grandson of Canadian industrialist Hugh Chisholm Jr., and that he was the son of Canadian paper magnate William Chisholm.
He also said he had ties to CNN's Ted Turner, claiming he had worked as the VP for Turner Program Services.
"As the indictment alleges, Colin Chisholm told one lie after another to steal from investors who thought they were financing a promising new business enterprise," said Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman.
"In reality, Chisholm was using their money for his own personal enrichment and luxurious lifestyle."