Wednesday, April 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

‘Octomom’ pleads not guilty to fraud charges

LOS ANGELES — “Octomom” Nadya Suleman pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of failing to report $30,000 that authorities say she was earning when she applied for public assistance benefits.

The 38-year-old single mother of 14 children was released on her own recognizance after arraignment in Los Angeles County Superior Court on three counts of welfare fraud.

She was ordered to report to the county’s early disposition court on Feb. 3, where Deputy District Attorney Bill Clark said authorities will try to resolve the case without a trial.

“If she can pay the money back, that makes a big difference,” he said.

Suleman, dressed in a dark blue pantsuit, her hair piled up in a bun, appeared before Judge Roberto Longoria for only a couple of minutes. She spoke just one word, a barely audible, “Yes,” when the judge asked if she understood she was waiving her right to a preliminary hearing.

Immediately afterward Suleman, her attorney Arthur J. La Cilento and two other people quickly left the courtroom, escorted down a hallway by bailiffs who kept them from reporters.

Authorities say Suleman failed to disclose residuals from videos and money she was paid for personal appearances when she applied for welfare last year.

“She was running short on money. She went to the Los Angeles County Department of Social Services and asked for food stamps,” Clark told reporters outside court. “And they gave them to her.”

Soon after, he said, authorities got several calls from people reporting she was earning money during the time she was collecting the welfare.

While she might have qualified for some public assistance during that time, he said, authorities calculated that she collected $16,000 more than she should have and they want that back.

“That’s taxpayer money,” he said.

She is charged with one count of aid by misrepresentation and two counts of perjury by false application. If convicted, she could face five years and eight months in prison.

But Clark indicated it was unlikely she would face that much, if any, time behind bars.

“She’s got 14 children. We’ll try and work out a deal for her,” he said.

Suleman, whose real name is Natalie Denise Suleman, shot to fame on Jan. 26, 2009, when she gave birth at a Southern California hospital to eight children, who quickly became the world’s longest-surviving octuplets.

Like her six older children, they were all conceived by in-vitro fertilization. She has never disclosed the identity of the father.

After learning that her physician had actually implanted 12 embryos in her womb, the state Medical Board revoked his license.

Almost from the beginning, she struggled to support the additional children. She defaulted on payments on a house she bought in 2010, and the lender foreclosed.

She has found ways to make money: doing a porn video, posing topless for various publications, dancing in a Florida strip club and taking part in so-called celebrity boxing matches. One of her boxing opponents was Amy Fisher, the former “Long Island Lolita” who was 17 when she shot her much older lover’s wife in the face in 1992.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals paid Suleman $5,000 and gave her a month’s supply of vegetarian hot dogs and hamburgers in 2010 for endorsing birth control for dogs and cats.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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Discussion | 4 comments

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  • Skeptic ScroogeJanuary 18, 2014 - 2:40 am

    Even dogs n cats dont spit out 8 at a time! Maybe pigs though... Still remember her bragging about her post baby body, guess she was so skinny cuz she couldn't afford food! Food... Wish Rosanas bakery was open right now, could totally savor a slice of Swedish princess cake! Are there any other bakeries in the area that carry it?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Blanca BotwinJanuary 18, 2014 - 5:28 am

    She's authorized to rake in $119K a year, AND still collect Food Stamps. She can afford to eat, just like she can afford a gym membership AND fake nails every two weeks.She's not fooling me.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensJanuary 18, 2014 - 6:38 am

    I wish some old millionaire would marry her and love her children so at least her children would stand a chance of surviving their mom's horrible life choices.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensJanuary 18, 2014 - 7:39 am

    Liberal heads probably exploded all over the Beltway on Wednesday when Texas conservative Congressman Louie Gohmert took to the House floor to do something libs truly hate: Tell the truth about welfare checks and unwed mothers – and say he got into politics to do something about it. President Lyndon Johnson’s so-called War on Poverty led directly to an explosion of illegitimate births in the United States, Gohmert said, which led directly to Gohmert going into national politics. “If it weren’t for the policies in this War on Poverty declared 50 years ago, it may well be that I would not have ever run for Congress,” Gohmert said. “Because what got me thinking about it first as a state district judge back in Texas was seeing more and more young women, single women coming before me — single moms — charged with welfare fraud. One women had had 15 kids, didn’t even know where they all were, that was the most that I ever dealt with. It began to really eat away with me that in the ‘60s the federal government, desiring to help poor moms who were dealing with deadbeat dads, decided, ‘We’ll help, we’ll give a check for every child you can have out of wedlock.’ And guess what happened? More people had children out of wedlock. In 1963, one year before Johnson’s absurd declaration of “war” against a universal part of the human condition, the white illegitimacy rate in the United States was 3.07 percent, according to the Department of Labor. The black illegitimacy rate was 23.6 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Fifty years into the war, the illegitimacy rate – THE SINGLE MOST CONSISTENT PREDICTOR OF POVERTY – is 25 percent for whites, 42 percent for Hispanics and a truly staggering 72 percent for blacks. Refreshingly, at least, this isn’t a question about race, it’s a question about reality. Democrats declared “war” on poverty in 1964, then spent the next 50 years deliberately and proudly subsidizing the one factor — single motherhood — that ensured children will be born into poverty, and in turn have even more children born poor. So it was the insane, cyclical failure of Texan Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” that got Texan Louie Gohmert into politics. The liberal website Raw Story published a story about Gohmert on Thursday under what its editors probably thought was a mocking headline: “Louie Gohmert: I became a congressman to stop single moms from getting welfare checks.” To libs, accusing Gohmert of going into politics to stop welfare checks to single mothers is an insult. With Gohmert, it’s just the truth. And something to be actually be proud of.

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