Minn. Couple Accused of Collecting Welfare While Yachting Appears in Court

Updated: 12/18/2015 1:22 PM KSTP.com By: Leslie Dyste

The Minnesota couple arrested last month near Fort Lauderdale after allegedly collecting welfare while living on a yacht made their first court appearance Thursday.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman calls them "Lord and Lady Chisholm." Colin Chisholm III, 62, and his wife Andrea, 54, of Deephaven, are charged with felony welfare fraud.

The pair is accused of collecting $167,420 in Minnesota public assistance while living on an 83-foot yacht in Florida.

In court today, both surrendered their passports and signed extradition waivers. Andrea Chisholm's bail remains at $150,000. Colin's was raised to $300,000. Arguments from both sides on the bail issue, will bring the Chisholm's back to court tomorrow.

The criminal complaint alleges the couple collected the money between 2005 and 2012. A Medica investigation tipped off county officials to the alleged welfare fraud.