Doctor involved in waterfront welfare case confronted

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by CHRIS INGALLS / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @cjingalls

KING5.com

Posted on January 9, 2012 at 10:50 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 10 at 9:57 AM

He's already under fire. But KING 5 News has learned of a new investigation into the Seattle doctor involved in the waterfront welfare case. The Washington State Department of Health confirms it has launched an investigation into Dr. David Silverstein.

Waterfront welfare allegations

Federal agents are already probing Seattle chiropractor Dr. Silverstein for allegedly conspiring with a woman, who agents believe is Silverstein’s wife, to collect rent assistance from the Department of Housing. Agents say Silverstein and Lyudmila Shimonova live in a $1.2 million home along Lake Washington.

Through public records requests, the KING 5 Investigators obtained the documents the couple used to apply for welfare in 2003.

The documents show it was surprisingly easy for Dr. Silverstein to pose as Shimonova’s landlord. His listed the address of his Seattle chiropractic office as his home address. Shimonova claimed to be living in the waterfront home with only her two children. Federal agents say Silverstein lived in the home, as well.

The federal government started sending rent checks of $1,254 per month to Dr. Silverstein in August of 2003.

After eight years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent vouchers, food stamps and other public assistance, federal authorities are now investigating the couple for lying about their income and living arrangements.

New investigation

The Washington State Department of Health launched its investigation after seeing stories about the federal probe on KING 5 News. Spokesman Donn Moyer confirms that the agency is investigating but wouldn’t provide specifics.

Sources tell KING 5 News that the state is building an “unprofessional conduct” case against Silverstein for alleged dishonesty. Punishment could range from a reprimand to the loss of his medical license.

Dr. Silverstein did not return our repeated calls or messages seeking comment. But the KING 5 Investigators recently found him on the way into his Seattle chiropractic office. He refused to answer questions about the case.

“You have to speak to my attorney, David Allen,” Dr. Silverstein said. “That’s all I can say. He’ll tell you what you need.”

Allen’s office did not respond to messages from KING 5 News.

Home inspected several times

The case also raises questions about the Seattle Housing Authority which annually inspects all properties that receive housing vouchers.

Records show eight inspections at Dr. Silverstein’s waterfront home since 2003 with inspectors noting the home is "way! above average.” No inspectors ever report suspected fraud.

The Seattle Housing Authority says its reviewing its procedures and analyzing its inventory of homes to make certain there aren’t other similar cases.

David Silverstein and Lyudmila Shimonova have not been charged although two criminal justice sources tell KING 5 News that criminal charges are expected.

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