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Wealthy couple returning to Minnesota to face welfare fraud charges

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A wealthy Deephaven couple charged with welfare fraud won't fight extradition and will head back to Minnesota from Florida to face criminal proceedings, WPLG reports.

The station says Colin Chisholm III, 62, and Andrea Chisholm, 54, waived extradition in a Broward County, Florida, courtroom in Fort Lauderdale Thursday.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County last month, the Chisholms were charged with taking more than $167,000 in welfare benefits, despite having $3.2 million in the bank and living in a luxurious lakefront home in Deephaven, the Business Journal said. The charges say the couple also purchased an 83-foot yacht for $1.2 million and owned a seaside home in Florida.

WPLG says prosecutors in court Thursday pointed out that the Chisholms claimed they were descendants of Scottish royalty and called themselves "Lord" and "Lady," and lied on public assistance request forms by claiming they were broke. As a result, the prosecutor said, the Chisholms collected the $167,000 in welfare payments and food stamps, even though they were living a luxurious lifestyle in South Florida.

WPLG reporter Roger Lohse attempted to get a comment from Colin Chisholm as he was escorted into the courtroom, but had no luck.

"Lord Chisholm, can you talk to us for a minute? Why did you need all that public money if you're so wealthy?" Lohse asked the man.

KARE 11 says the couple was visited by police in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Monday and told their visas had expired. From there, the station said, the Chisholms were deported from the Bahamas, and officials escorted the couple, their son and their dog onto a ship bound for the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area.

After the ship landed in Port Everglades, the Chisholms were arrested and taken to the Broward County Jail, while their son and dog were reportedly turned over to family members.

The Business Journal says Colin Chisholm is listed as CEO and founder of Miami-based TCN Inc., a company with media and entertainment holdings. In addition, the couple reportedly bred and sold championship pedigree Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies through their business Strathglass Kennel.

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