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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

September 21, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Seattle couple in waterfront home sentenced for welfare theft

A Seward Park chiropractor and his girlfriend, who lived in a $1.2 million waterfront home while collecting tens of thousands of dollars in welfare, were each sentenced to 18 months in prison today.

David Silverstein, 60, was also fined $30,000 and Lyudmila Shimonova, 53, was also ordered to pay more than $261,000 in restitutuion. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Silverstein has already paid more than $160,000 in restitution and a civil penalty of more than $173,000.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the couple began defrauding the federal Housing and Urban Development in 2003, when Silverstein falsely claimed that he was Shimonova’s landlord who was accepting rent for her and her two children to live at his waterfront property. Silverstein collected more than $1,250 a month in federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rent subsidies for Shimonova, who claimed to be disabled, to live in their home near Pritchard Beach on Lake Washington.

HUD, however, said it was not aware that Silverstein was living at the home with Shimonova, and that the pair were romantically involved, conditions that made him ineligible to receive the payments, and wrong for Shimonova to apply for them.

The couple was accused of violating the False Claims Act by lying on applications at least seven times over the years.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle said Silverstein received more than $135,000 in housing benefits while living in the home.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: fraud, Seattle, U.S. Attorney's Office

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