Feds charge Seattle couple in waterfront welfare case

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by CHRIS INGALLS / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @cjingalls

KING5.com

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 9 at 5:59 PM

Federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against a Seattle couple that lived in luxury while receiving $115,000 in federal rent assistance.

The feds accuse David Silverstein and Lyudmila Shimonova of shielding their living arrangements and income when Shimonova applied for rent assistance eight years ago. Silverstein is a Seattle chiropractor who claimed to be Shimonova’s landlord.
Federal agents for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General believe the couple is actually married and that Silverstein and Shimonova live in the gleaming, $1.2 million home in an exclusive neighborhood on south Lake Washington.
This week the United States Attorney's Office in Seattle filed a charge of felony theft of government funds against the couple.
In documents filed when agents searched the couple’s home late last year, agents said the couple traveled the world and made donations to charity while receiving more than $1,200 a month for rent assistance intended for low income citizens.
A KING 5 Investigation revealed that inspectors for the Seattle Housing Authority visited the lavish home eight times over the years, but never reported any suspicions of fraud. SHA has been reviewing its client list and says it has found no other similar cases in its jurisdiction. It call the Silverstein case an “isolated incident.”
More on the "Waterfront Welfare" case from the KING 5 Investigators:

 

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