The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 28, 2014

Authorities hunt for couple living lavish lifestyle while collecting food stamps

(Continued)

They staged a mighty battle to get the boat back, but after a trial in federal court, the judge sided with Ross. He wrote that Colin Chisholm’s testimony was “almost entirely lacking in credibility…at best, evasive, and at worst, perjurious.”

Ross wasn’t surprised by news that the Chisholms are now wanted for fraud. He said the couple were sneaky and sophisticated, and had him fooled in the beginning.

They had butlers and chauffeurs who drove guests to the yacht in limousines, Ross said. The “Lord and Lady” thing, he said, was “hysterical.”

“I mean, they’re criminals,” Ross said. “They would make believe that they had all this money. They were selling some scam.”

The Chisholms left Florida for Minnesota in 2008. They moved into a luxury, $1.6 million house on Lake Minnetonka with Andrea Chisholm’s elderly grandmother, Eloise Heidecker, who she gained power of attorney over.

The pair funneled money from their businesses through her bank accounts, hiding it from authorities, according to the Minnesota complaint. The Chisholms used cash to pay their $2,750 monthly rent.

The several hundred thousand dollars in Heidecker’s bank account “included transactions that would not be expected for an elderly woman with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis,” the criminal complaint said.

That includes $23,000 in charges for airfare, hotels in New York City, California and Florida, cell phone payments and fine dining — all in just in one month.

Mance Chisholm said her ex-husband was a convincing salesman, had “delusions of grandeur” and always wanted to live large.

If he had worked as hard at selling something legitimate, he “really would be a millionaire now,” she said.

“He could sell ice cream to a snowman,” Mance Chisholm said. “He could have been the best used car salesman in the world. He could sell you anything.”

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