Colin Chisholm, who lived the life of a Lake Minnetonka millionaire with his wife while collecting welfare benefits, leaves jail long enough to hear on Monday that he’ll be moving to his new digs in prison.
Chisholm, 62, and his wife, Andrea, collected more than $167,000 in fraudulent medical and food-stamp claims over seven years.
In November, Chisholm agreed in court to a 21-month prison sentence and admitted committing a major economic crime.
Colin Chisholm’s formal sentencing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Monday before Hennepin County District Judge Lois Conroy. County Attorney Mike Freeman, who has said that the husband had been conning his way through life for at least a quarter-century, will comment about the case immediately after the hearing.
According to state guidelines, the presumptive sentence would have been probation and no prison time. But the prosecution argued that the dollar amount of the theft, the length of time over which it occurred and the frequency of the crimes called for an upward departure.
Andrea Chisholm, 54, pleaded guilty in August and has finished her jail sentence. Freeman said she was less culpable than her husband, who was forging signatures on documents.
The couple were living in a $1.6 million mansion in Deephaven on Lake Minnetonka and owned a million-dollar yacht during part of the time they were illegally receiving welfare and other benefits in Minnesota and Florida from 2005 to 2012.
They were arrested in March after fleeing Minnesota for the Bahamas. The couple, who once referred to themselves as Scottish nobility, “Lord and Lady Chisholm,” claimed to have $97 million in assets and tried to start a satellite television network in the Caribbean.
In March 2012, the Chisholms’ benefits were finally cut off when they couldn’t explain how they were able to pay their rent and personal expenses with no income. The couple had more than $3 million in bank accounts while they were receiving welfare payments, authorities said.