Couple Sued By Government for Receiving Thousands In Welfare

Until federal agents shut down their party, a Seattle couple had been living the good life in a $1.2 million home on the American tax dollar.

According to AP, agents were able to obtain a search warrant and raid the chiropractor and his wife’s home last week. The couple has been identified as David Silverstein and Lyudmila Shimonova. The identities of the couple had not been released until Tuesday because they had not yet been criminally charged. But yesterday the U.S attorney’s office decided to sue the pilfering duo for more than $135,000.

Although the 2,500 square foot Lake Washington waterfront home is estimated at a whopping $1.2 million, unsealed search warrant documents revealed that the woman received more than $1,200 a month in public housing vouchers, monthly cash for disability from the federal and state government, and supplemental nutrition assistance (or food stamps).

In order to gain Section 8 housing assistance, Lyudmila Shimonova represented that she lived alone with her two children and that her household assets were less than $5,000. Her husband, David Silverstein, received monthly benefits of $1,272 under the pretense that he was Shimonova's landlord.

The home boasts a boat dock as well as gardens. Court records indicate the couple has given several charitable donations and traveled across the globe to destinations including Turkey, Tel Aviv, Moscow, Israel, and resort towns in Mexico.

A federal agent revealed, under anonymity, how this overt instance of defrauding the government could occur. He explained that the housing voucher program, that the wife utilized, provides coupons to aid low-income individuals pay the cost of rent. It aims to assist those individuals get out of housing projects and move into a dwelling of their own choosing. However, the program does not mandate official analysis of the recipients address whether or not it may give pause.