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Seattle Couple Plead Guilty to Defrauding Welfare


A Seattle couple has pleaded guilty to welfare theft.

After years of defrauding the welfare system they finally had been brought to justice.

The couple, 60-year-old David Silverstein and 53-year-old Lyudmila Shimonova lived in a life of luxury. The undated image above was the waterfront home the couple lived in while raking in welfare funds.

According to the U.S. Attorney General’s office the couple will have to pay back more than $330,000 in restitution in addition to $216,441 in a seperate civil penalty.

Their welfare scheme began in 2003. Silverstein posed as Shimonova’s landlord in order for her to receive $1250 a month in rent assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Shimonova also received assistance from the state and federal welfare programs that amounted to $145,000.

She earned food and medical benefits by lying about her finances. She received assistance even though she owned a platinum and diamond ring worth $12,500 along with diamond earrings that are valued at $17,000.

The couple will be back in court in September for sentencing. They could face up to 10 years in prison.

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