• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

'Octomom' Nadya Suleman pleads not guilty to welfare fraud

Nadya Suleman pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges of welfare fraud. She was released on her own recognizance.
January 17, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Nadya Suleman, who gained fame as "Octomom," pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges of welfare fraud.

Suleman appeared in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom with her attorney and was released on her own recognizance. She is charged with one count of aid by misrepresentation and two counts of perjury.

Prosecutors say Suleman was collecting public aid while hiding tens of thousands of dollars in other income. Prosecutors say she filed for public assistance in Lancaster last year, but failed to disclose that she had earned about $30,000 from various appearances and residuals from videos.

Suleman allegedly collected more than $16,000 in public aid before anonymous tipsters alerted the Department of Public Social Services.

"We got several calls indicating, 'Well, she's getting money from elsewhere. Did she tell you about that?' They did an investigation and they found out she did not tell DPSS about the money that was coming in," said Deputy District Attorney Bill Clark.

The county wants Suleman to pay back the $16,000 she allegedly collected.

Suleman is best known for giving birth to eight children back in 2009. In all, the single mother has 14 children.

Suleman has struggled financially trying to care for the 14 kids. She lost a house to foreclosure and has earned money by appearing in a porn film, dancing in a strip club and posing topless for various publications.

Suleman elected to go to early disposition court next month with the hopes of working out a deal.

If convicted, Suleman could face up to five years in prison. The deputy D.A. said he wouldn't expect a mother of 14 to be given such a harsh sentence.


Load Comments