Wealthy Couple On Welfare, Feds Say
December 7, 2011 by staff
Wealthy Couple On Welfare, Feds Say, A wealthy Seattle couple has been accused in a lawsuit of cheating the government out of more than $100,000 in welfare funds. Federal prosecutors filed suit against Lyudmila Shimonova and David Silverstein in civil court Friday, and federal agents raided their $1.2 million lakefront home.
In the lawsuit, federal authorities said the couple received $135,000 in federal housing assistance, plus money from a federal program for destitute disabled people and a state program meant to feed poor families. Meanwhile, they allegedly were taking international vacations to locales like Paris, Moscow, and the Dominican Republic, said a Department Housing and Urban Development special agent.
“All these programs are need-based programs, meaning that a person can qualify for the programs only if he or she demonstrates that his or her income or resources fall below a certain level,” the HUD agent told the court. “The investigation has developed substantial evidence that the subjects defrauded these programs by misrepresenting and concealing material information.”
To obtain the welfare cash, the couple pretended they were not married and that Shimonova was renting the residence from Silverstein, investigators said. But Silverstein, a chiropractor, claims to be “happily married with two children” on his business website. Prosecutors believe the couple is married.
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