Feds: Welfare recipient lives in million-dollar home

A Seattle couple has been accused by federal authorities of collecting welfare benefits and food stamps while living in this million dollar lakefront home. / Courtesy of the King County Assessor's Office

You might not have a problem with your tax dollars being used to fund police and fire salaries and road repairs, but what if your hard-earned money was being used by a welfare recipient to live it up in luxury?

The wife of a Washington state chiropractor has been accused by federal authorities of collecting welfare benefits and food stamps while living in a million dollar lakefront home. According to several news outlets in Seattle, Lyudmila Shimonova, along with her husband, David Silverstein, are being sued by the federal government alleging that Silverstein has been collecting around $1,200 in monthly federal rent subsidies for his wife to live in his $1.2 million home on Lake Washington.

In addition to receiving over $1,000 in monthly housing assistance, Shimonova has received state and federal disability money, and food stamps since 2003. Court records are said to show that the couple traveled around the world to exotic locations and donated to charities.

According to KING 5 in Seattle, records show Shimonova truthfully listed the lakefront home address when she applied for benefits. The government, however, did nothing to "analyze" where she was living.

A lawsuit alleges that Silverstein has received more than $135,000 in tax dollars, in the form of federal housing benefits, while living in his home. In a raid conducted at the home last week, a federal search warrant says agents were investigating the couple for mail fraud, Social Security fraud and theft of government funds.

The lakefront home is listed in property records as being a 2,500 square-foot structure with gardens and a boat dock.

No criminal charges have been filed.

Read more at Yahoo! News

Who is to blame here and what should the punishment be? Is the couple to blame for alleged fraud? Or, is the government culpable for not effectively tracking where the funding was going? Share your thoughts by commenting below.