Family claimed welfare, lived in $1.2M home
December 7, 2011
By Gene Johnson
SEATTLE — A Seattle chiropractor and his wife live in a
$1.2 million waterfront home and have spent the past eight years flying to
Moscow, Paris, Israel, Turkey, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
All the while,
federal authorities say, the couple was collecting more than $100,000 in
Now, the U.S.
attorney’s office is suing David Silverstein and Lyudmila Shimonova, accusing
them of filing false claims and demanding that the couple pay back more than
$135,000 in federal housing assistance since 2003.
also seeking tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
Section 8 housing assistance, Shimonova represented that she lived alone with
her two children and that her household assets were less than $5,000.
received the monthly benefits of $1,272 as Shimonova’s purported landlord, the
received benefits under the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
program. These included programs such as Social Security cash reserved for
people who can’t work due to age or disability and whose assets fall below a
certain threshold — $3,000 for a married couple or $2,000 for a single person, the
separately and, it appears, in conjunction with one another made false
representations to various state and federal agencies in order to obtain
federally funded benefits,” assistant U.S. attorneys Harold Malkin and Kayla
were traveling the world, according to Department of Homeland Security records.
Radyshewsky, a federal welfare fraud investigator, wrote in an application to
search the couple’s home that they took weeklong trips to Moscow in 2003,
Dominican Republic in 2005, and Mexico and France in 2009. In 2007, they went
for 12 days to Israel, and this past June they took a two-week trip to Turkey.
Tuesday his lawyer asked him not to comment. The home did not appear to have a
listed phone number, and no contact information for Shimonova could immediately
included surveillance of the three-bedroom, 2,300-square-foot home on Lake
Washington, during which agents observed his black Jaguar parked there
had claimed she was single and lived there alone, Silverstein listed it as his
residence on his driver’s license and passport application, the prosecutors
But in documents
filed so that he could receive the housing assistance, he listed his office as
his residence to conceal that he was living with Shimonova — not her landlord,
appeared clear that the pair was actually married. Silverstein wrote on the
website of his chiropractic business: “On a personal note, I am happily married
with two children, whose careers are in medicine and Middle Eastern studies. As
a family, we all enjoy snow-shoeing, mountain climbing and ocean sports.”
A report of the
Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle for the 2010 fiscal year listed “Mila and
Dr. David Silverstein” as donors.
In addition to
failing to disclose the marriage or living situation, Shimonova also failed to
disclose bank accounts in her name containing tens of thousands of dollars,
The lawsuit seeks
to have the couple pay $11,000 in fines for each false claim the couple made.
The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment on whether criminal charges are