Andrea Chisholm, Half of "Royal Scottish Couple" on Welfare, Pleads Guilty in Minnesota
Illustration by Tristan Elwell
Remember Colin and Andrea Chisholm? The couple owned a yacht, lived in a Lighthouse Point mansion, and touted themselves as Scottish aristocrats, all while collecting public assistance. This past March, they were chased down by the FBI, caught in the Bahamas, extradited to Port Everglades, and summarily arrested.
Not long after, they were sent back to Minnesota, where Hennepin County authorities had accused them of unlawfully obtaining more than $160,000 in welfare. Now, more than four months after being captured and three months New Times peeked into their background, one of them has finally pleaded guilty to "aiding and abetting wrongfully obtaining public assistance."
Chuck Laszewski of the Hennepin County Attorney's Office says Andrea Chisholm began her sentence of a year and a day immediately after the plea on Tuesday. But was anything said about the time the couple spent in Florida and about whether additional charges would be filed here?
"There was no mention of anything in [yesterday's] hearing other than the fact that she admitted to receiving both Minnesota benefits while collecting benefits in Florida," Laszewski says.
Andrea gave birth to a son in Palm Beach seven years ago and billed $22,000 to the state of Minnesota. She may have also billed Florida's Medicaid system.
So are Florida investigators going to pursue a separate case on the wannabe king and queen?
"We are aware of the development in the Minnesota case, and we are working with Minnesota authorities," says Ashley Carr of Florida's Department of Financial Services. We have requested some documentation from them, but I cannot confirm or deny an active Florida investigation."
Colin Chisholm will appear in court in Minnesota on September 10 and will likely face a heavier sentence. Wrongfully obtaining more than $35,000 in public assistance is punishable by up 20 years.
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