A conman who posed as Scots lord while fleecing the authorities in America in a welfare scam has been jailed for a string of fraud offences.

Colin Chisholm, described as "living in a fantasy world" by genuine clan leaders, owned a £1 million luxury yacht and was living with his wife 'Lady' Andrea in a lakeside mansion and owned a beach-side home in Florida and had £2m in bank accounts.

But over a seven-year period the fraudulent couple systematically claimed up to £150,000 in benefits including medical aid and food stamps.

Mrs Chisholm, 54, was jailed for a year and a day in August 2014 after pleading guilty to wrongly obtaining welfare payments and yesterday her husband, who called himself Colin Chisholm III of Struy, was sent to prison for 21 months.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said: "This is a fitting end to a crime that never should have occurred. We are pleased with the sentence and believe it is one of the longest ever given in the state of Minnesota for welfare fraud."

The couple's elaborate deception began unravelling as investigators closed in early last year.

The pair fled the Bahamas where they were staying and headed for America with their seven-year-old son and their pet dog - Mrs Chisholm bred King Charles spaniels.

When they arrived in the States, they applied for more than a dozen forms of medical assistance, welfare payments and food stamps, first in Minnesota and then in Florida.

Mrs Chisholm had her childcare for the couple's son in 2006 paid for by the state, claiming she was destitute.

Mr Chisholm failed to declare that he ran a broadcasting business in the Caribbean through which more than a million dollars flowed.

The couple were living with Mrs Chisholm's mother in Minneapolis when they first applied for welfare in 2005 and three years later moved into a sprawling waterfront property on Lake Minnetonka.

For the next two years, they lived on their Florida yacht, and later at a beach property in the state, none of which was ever declared, investigators said. In April 2007, the Chisholms came back to Minnesota and filled out forms for more benefits before moving into a luxury home in Deephaven. They later moved to another luxury home nearby which boasted six bedrooms, five bathrooms and was set in almost two acres of grounds. None of this information was ever declared on welfare forms.

As he was jailed it emerged that Mr Chisholm, who insisted on being addressed as 'Lord', and his wife had no right to assume any title, according to genuine clan leaders in Scotland.

Susan Chisholm, sister of the current 33rd clan chief Andrew Chisholm of Chisholm, said: "Colin is a total fraud - and it seems that a lot of people in America fell for it. But although he may say he can trace family to the area in the Central Highlands near Inverness where the clan originated, there is certainly no title involved in that line of the family.

"But Colin found a book published in 1892 which he believes gives him the right to use the title Chisholm of Struy, but it doesn't and he's living in a fantasy world."

And Duncan Chisholm, a past president of the Clan Chisholm Society and kilt-maker in Inverness, said: "Colin does not have any title or claim to be Lord Chisholm nor indeed does any such title exist.

"We had heard he was using the title and the Society historian wrote to him three years ago asking him not to use the bogus title.

"He was also told that Lord Lovat of the Fraser clan had ownership and title over the Struy land which neighbours the Chisholm castle of Erchless."