The couple accused of taking federal rent assistance while living in a $1.2 million waterfront home on Lake Washington has pleaded guilty.
Dr. David Silverstein, 60, and Lyudmila Shimonova, 53, admitted to felony theft of public funds at the federal courthouse in Seattle Thursday.
Federal prosecutors said they accepted $115,000 in public rent vouchers while living in an exclusive south Lake Washington neighborhood.
In court, Silverstein's lawyer said his client will repay taxpayers $300,000. The U.S. Attorney's Office said Silverstein and Shimonova must pay an additional civil penalty of $216,441.
The charges carry a prison sentence of up to ten years.
Prosecutors argued Silverstein and Shimonova shielded their living arrangements and income when Shimonova applied for rent assistance in 2003. Silverstein, a Seattle chiropractor, claimed to be Shimonova’s landlord. The couple received monthly payments of $1,250.
A KING 5 investigation revealed Seattle Housing Authority inspectors visited the home eight times over the years, but did not report anything suspicious.
According to U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, Shimonova also lied to qualify for food and medical benefits from DSHS and Social Security Disability payments. They estimate she fraudulently collected $84,000 from DSHS and $60,124 from Social Security.