Jet-Setting Couple Living in $1.2M Home ... on Welfare

Seattle pair accused of filing false claims to get housing assistance
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2011 10:12 AM CST
The $1.2 million waterfront home where prosecutors say a Seattle chiropractor and his wife lived while claiming welfare assistance.   (AP Photo/King County Dept. of Assessments)

(Newser) – A dispatch from the Department of Injustices: A Seattle couple collected more than $135,000 in federal housing assistance since 2003, money that no doubt helped them maintain a lifestyle that included a $1.2 million waterfront home and trips to Moscow, Paris, Turkey, and Mexico. Chiropractor David Silverstein and Lyudmila Shimonova stand accused of filing false claims, reports the AP, and the government says their ruse went something like this: Shimonova received Section 8 housing assistance (along with Social Security cash and other benefits via the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program) by claiming to live alone with her two kids, with household assets under $5,000. Silverstein, her "landlord," raked in the monthly benefits of $1,272.

They both apparently lived in the three-bedroom, 2,300-square-foot home on Lake Washington, which came complete with black Jaguar in the driveway. Shimonova had claimed she was single and lived there alone, and Silverstein listed his office as his residence to conceal his actual location. As for Shimonova telling the government she was unwed, it seems the duo overlooked this blurb on Silverstein's business website: "On a personal note, I am happily married with two children, whose careers are in medicine and Middle Eastern studies. As a family, we all enjoy snow-shoeing, mountain climbing, and ocean sports."

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