Residents of a wealthy lakefront community near Seattle are surprised to learn that one of their neighbors, who has lived in a $1.2 million home for the last 8 years, is the recipient of more than $1,200 a month in public housing vouchers, federal and state disability, and food stamps. King 5 reports on the couple living large on the taxpayer’s dime:
The Seattle PI reports that federal prosecutors filed a civil lawsuit Friday, claiming that Lyudmila Shimonova and her partner, chiropractor David Silverstein, made false claims for federal government housing assistance benefits totaling $135,000.
King 5 says that records show that the cheats have truthfully provided their address when applying for benefits. In addition to a lavish residence, court records indicate that the couple gives money to charity and has traveled to Turkey, Tel Aviv and several resort towns in Mexico.
An unnamed federal official told the station that the housing voucher program provides coupons that help low-income people pay their rent, and allows people to get out of housing projects and move into the place of their choosing. What the program does not do is analyze where people choose to move.