Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Seattle Couple Live In 1.2 Million House While Claiming Welfare
What is wrong with this picture?
While 39-year-old Rachelle Grimmer (a woman in Texas) shoots her two kids and then herself at a Laredo welfare office because she was refused food stamps, a couple in Seattle have been living in a 1.2 million dollar waterfront home, on welfare since 2003.
Grimmer had recently moved to Texas from a small town in Ohio, and had desperately sought food stamps for herself, 10-year-old Timothy and 12-year-old Ramie. When she first applied in July, she was denied because she apparently did not furnish enough information to qualify. Stephanie Goodman, of the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, was not aware of what the missing paperwork was, but with an 18-page application form it could have been anything. Applicants must also provide proof of residency and employment. There are no details about a husband, or why she left Ohio to begin with, but the woman was obviously distraught and desperate enough to hole up in a government building for 7 hours and then shoot both of her kids and then herself. The kids are in critical condition.
There are some people who need and should get help, even if it's for a short time to help them get back on their feet. And then there are those who successfully cheat the system and get away with it for years, like the Seattle chiropractor David Silverstein and his wife Lyudmila Shimonova. Lyudmila and the doc hatched an elaborate plan to cheat the government out of over $1,200 a month in housing assistance, welfare, food stamps and other benefits. For over 8 years. Lyudmila applied for the assistance as a single mother of two with few assets. Her hubby, pretending to be the landlord, received the $1,272 rent checks every month. Why no-one questioned why a so-called 'welfare' mom was living in a house worth 1.2 million dollars is baffling. That only happens in England.
While the couple apparently did give to charity, they also took trips to places like Turkey, Moscow, Paris, Dominican Republic, Israel and Mexico. Then there's that black jag that the doc drives, sitting in the driveway of that lovely, expensive house on the water. According to one of the comments in this article, ironically, the house is located next to a very impoverished neighbourhood. The doc owns his own practice, Seward Park Chiropractic Center, and says he is "happily married with two children, whose careers are in medicine and Middle Eastern studies." I guess their university studies were provided by the government courtesy of the U.S. taxpayers. He goes on to say: "As a family, we all enjoy snow shoeing, mountain climbing and ocean sports." Maybe he should add "and bilking the U.S. government out of thousands" to his bio.
There's no doubt they are married and thankfully their criminal activity has finally caught up with them. Although not charged with a crime, per se, the Attorney General's office is suing them to recoup the stolen monies along with various fines. I'm not sure why they are not being charged, because one would think that defrauding the government would be a criminal offense.
There is something desperately wrong with a system that denies some measly monthly food stamps to a Texan mother in need, and provides people who have no need with thousands per month through fraudulent means. It's truly shameful.
UPDATE 12/10/11: 12-year-old Ramie Grimmer died of her wounds on Wednesday. She had posted to her Facebook, just before she was shot by her mother "May die 2day". According to Grimmer's mother-in-law, she had a history of mental instability.