A Trumpy liveaboard is serving 21 months as part of plea deal with Minnesota prosecutors, who had charged the man with collecting $167,000 in public benefits while living in luxury.
Colin Chisholm admitted his guilt in court in mid-November 2014, and was sentenced in January. Chisholm’s wife, Andrea, pleaded guilty earlier this year and had already completed her prison sentence. Usually “theft by swindle” charges don’t result in prison time, but Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman pushed for a tough sentence, calling the crime “abominable.”
As the couple cruised Florida and tried to interest investors in a start-up Caribbean TV network, they posed as Scottish nobility and referred to themselves as “Lord and Lady Chisholm.”
In 2005, the couple bought an 83-foot Trumpy (pictured above) for $1.2 million in an owner-financed deal. For the next 11 months the Chisholms lived in Florida aboard the Andrea Aras, all the while collecting welfare benefits and food stamps. Most of the time was spent at the Turnberry Isle Marina in Miami. The seller got the boat back in December 2005 by having her “arrested” for non-payment on the part of the Chisholms.
After losing the boat, the couple lived in luxury homes in Florida and Minnesotta, and they fought a fruitless lawsuit trying to get Andrea Aras returned to them.
The Chisholms were arrested in April after having fled to the Bahamas. After three weeks in the islands, Bahamian authorities sent them back to the U.S. because of expired visas. They were arrested as they disembarked from the ferry at Port Everglades.