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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:02 PM
Original message
Source: KING 5

Records obtained by KING 5 Investigators show that government inspectors were aware that a Seattle resident was receiving housing assistance to live in a $1.2 million home on Lake Washington.

Inspectors visited the home at least nine time since Lyudmila Shimonova moved in -- yet none of the officials reported the possibility of fraud. Altogether, Shimonova received $135,000 in housing assistance.

Annual inspections required

The government requires annual inspections of property covered by HUD rent subsidies. The inspections are safety related: The government wants to be sure that the publics money isn't going to subsidize dangerous or uninhabitable properties.

Documents reviewed by KING 5 show that Lyudmila was truthful about her waterfront address, which federal court records show she has lived at since 2003. And inspectors noted the home's features.
According to a February 2009 inspection report, the inspector noted the house is above average, has a deck, high-end appliances, a Jacuzzi tub and a view.

Read more:
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SoapBox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 11:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. ...simply bizarre.
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Plucketeer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 12:05 AM
Response to Original message
2. And we're to hope that....
some other Govt. agency is going to go after banks that have screwed us??? Why do I even bother?
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:30 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. Some state A.G.'s appear to be doing that. We'll see. nt
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 01:20 AM
Response to Original message
3. Certainly not the norm, but this has the makings of another Reagan Cadillac welfare queen story.
Was that $135,000 over 8 years? She rents the home,doesn't own it. that's about $16,000/year or $1400/mo.. Have no idea what typical rents are in the area, but it doesn't seem that outrageous for a rent. Now, I would think there'd be a max cap that the State would pay for rental assistance....but I have no idea what it is. Is there a law that says you have to confine yourself to a trailer or hi-rise apartment complex to get the subsidy? Were any laws broken? This story doesn't seem to answer that least this clip of it.

It will serve a bigger purpose, will demonize the idea of subsidized housing supports, create a climate a backlash against these types of government programs, and provide another atypical example for republicans to use in smearing all welfare benefits and tell us, yet again, that government is broken and can't do anything right.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:12 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. If you follow the link in the OP and read the story, it lays out fraud.
There may be other facts that we do not know, but, based on the OP, both spouses are culpable and the government's involvement is inexplicable.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:33 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. What do you mean, "the government's involvement is inexplicable"?
You just pointed to the fraud. Is the government not supposed to act on this?
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:32 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Apparently her husband owns it. Her story of renting it was part of the fraud. n/t
Edited on Thu Dec-08-11 05:32 AM by pnwmom
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arikara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 02:25 AM
Response to Original message
4. The mr was called to help in a house in the rich part of town
the woman was sitting in the fancy house alone with the curtains pulled... it seems that her husband drained the bank accounts and left. She didn't have money for food and no idea of what to do. Even rich people can get screwn.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 03:08 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. He described himself online as "happily married." Heard that on TV.
Not typical of a man who has separated from his wife. Just sayin'

And OP article says...

"Government investigators believe Silverstein and Shimonova are actually married and that they live together in the lakeside house.

The KING 5 Investigators obtained a copy of the search warrant pertaining to the recent search of the 2,500 square-foot waterfront home. Agents seized a "photo album of family and dog," "greeting cards (anniversary and birthday)," and "2 postcards from Ruben to Mom and Dad." These are things agents might use to try to prove the couple is married."

Yes, rich people can get screwn, but, at some point, the person left with the kids and empty bank accounts sues his or her rich spouse for child support and separate maintenance or alimony, and legal fees.

Family practice attorneys looking at a practicing doctor who owns a $12 million dollar home would not hesitate to take this without being paid up front. They do that kind of thing all the time for their bread and butter.

Based on the few facts we have, I don't buy that she had no idea what to do all these years, except get the government to help her pay rent to her allegedly estranged husband and give her food stamps and other aid.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:35 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. This particular woman had bank accounts with tens of thousands in her name.
Edited on Thu Dec-08-11 05:41 AM by pnwmom
And she apparently traveled with and lived with her husband. /

Although the couple took trips to Moscow, Paris, Israel, Turkey and Mexico together, Shimonova allegedly gained Section 8 housing assistance by saying she lived alone with her two children and that her household assets were less than $5,000. According to the government, Silverstein received monthly benefits of $1,272 as her purported landlord.

Shimonova said she lived in the home alone, but Silverstein listed it as his residence on his driver's license and passport. Prosecutors say that documents show Silverstein listed his office as his residence so he could receive housing assistance.


While investigating the couple, agents saw Silverstein's black Jaguar parked at their 2,300 square foot home on Lake Washington.

Prosecutors also say that in addition to failing to disclose her living or marriage situation, Shimonova also failed to disclose bank accounts in her name containing tens of thousands of dollars.
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99th_Monkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 05:50 AM
Response to Original message
11. I think this whole reality TV-worthy cast of characters was bought by Kock Bros et. al.
Edited on Thu Dec-08-11 05:51 AM by 99th_Monkey
I mean think about it, how else could this have happened?

NINE 'INVESTIGATIONS"??? including home visits. Please. not to mention

Handing such a PR PRIZE to GOP to hammer on Obama for 2012 elections.

Sorry but the curtain's wearing a little thin.
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mntleo2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 06:21 AM
Response to Original message
12. I have some news about this ...
Edited on Thu Dec-08-11 06:32 AM by mntleo2
...I was reported for "fraud" by the same inspector after trying to care for my disabled ex-husband.

Believe me I know the rules and follow them. Nobody can live in my home with me. Someone is allowed to STAY every 2 months for NO LONGER than two weeks and my disabled son and I live in a VERY different situation than this "lucky ducky" woman whom I would like to choke for making it even harder for those of us in need of housing. We have a landlord that should be considered a saint, but his housing is errr, well it passes inspections every year.

The father of my children with is homeless. We have been divorced for years, have separate lives, but he is the father of our three children and a vital part of our family, a grandfather and dad to his kids. This homelessness is due to uncollected child support that takes over half his Social Security check every month leaving him nothing after he pays for his medicines and co-pays. If I got this back-pay, that would be lovely, but the state takes it all, even though I worked McJobs and supported these kids for years on my own. However because I lost my job and went on the dole, the state takes all they collect from him, I don't see a dime.

Well right before this year's inspection, he had an operation that left him bedridden for 2 months and he had nobody but his family to care for him. He could have gone to a nursing home, costing the state about $8000 a month, but his kids and I thought we would give him better care AND save the state thousands. Most important, he preferred our care to leaving himself to the mercy of state-run nursing homes, a notable place for MRSA and god knows what else.

Obeying the Section 8 rules while doing this was a nightmare. He was being cared for by my son and me and then he went to his other son's place (single dad with our 8 year old granddaughter, no bed, just a couch) and his third son helped as best as he could (he is not married, no kids) is also homeless because though he works 2 jobs, it is not enough to pay the rent even for a room. Seattle is expensive and over 50% of Seattleites are renters, not owners. Housing is too expensive and the cost of buying a home, unlike other parts of the country, have not gone down at ALL.

Try moving 250 LB man up some stairs and into a car in order to obey rules that are SAVING thousands of dollars. Getting him to and from the post-op stuff was beyond hard, even with two strapping men to help that saved thousands in transportation costs. Trying to sleep on a couch while using a bed pan ~ not fun. I am also disabled and therefore "not working" and as his main caregiver, what I did (out of love and concern for a family member) was extremely difficult. But we had to do it that way because those were the rules.

Inspection time came and my ex was there as my witness (they advise having a witness) but he was also in his legal "time" to be at my home while recuperating. The inspector did not say a word. However 2 months later I found out she had reported me for fraud. I did not hear this from Section 8, I heard it from my landlord who told me he was being ordered to evict my son and me. I had already been condemned and convicted of fraud without there ever being a chance for us to defend ourselves at ALL.

All this, while actually SAVING these bastards thousands of dollars and then to be "investigated" without so much as having a chance to defend or show what I was doing. THEN to find out this witch had inspected this $1,000,000 welfare queen without so much as a question! God forbid if you are POOR and defenseless, but hell hath no fury for the rich!

As I told all my elected officials about this case BEFORE I knew about this other story, how is it that they can spend thousands of dollars on "investigating" poor people yet never have a word or (sob) any funding to investigate banksters and the rich who have taken billions??? Now that I know THE REST OF THE STORY, it makes me see it is even done in the microcosm. I asked them as to why is it fine when a rich person takes and takes, but god forbid that poor people, who have nobody other than each other should actually become a "safety net" for the people we care about, saving thousands of tax dollars while doing it ~ even while trying to navigate rules that are almost impossible to be able to do it ????? !!!!!

All I hear are crickets ...

Cat in Seattle

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octothorpe Donating Member (358 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
13. It's a shame these pieces of shit were able to get away with this for so long, but normal honest
people in need of assistance often times get disqualified for stupid little shit. Not to mention this will just be fodder for those idiots who don't understand this is an exception, and not the rule.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
14. "We came to inspect but stayed for the caviar"nt
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