‘Octomom’ facing new fraud charge
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Octuplets mom Nadya Suleman faces a new criminal charge of welfare fraud, bringing the number of counts against her to four.
Prosecutors accuse Suleman, whose claim to fame is giving birth to eight babies in one day, of not reporting that she was making thousands of dollars as topless dancer and adult film actress when she applied for government aid last year.
An additional charge filed Wednesday alleges that she received nearly $10,000 in MediCal benefits she was not entitled to, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said. The restitution they are seeking now totals $26,000.
Suleman has already pleaded not guilty to the first three welfare fraud charges, and she will return to court on March 11 for arraignment on the newest charge.
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said that while Suleman applied for public aid, the mother of 14 children “allegedly failed to disclose that she was also getting checks for personal appearances and residuals from videos.”
Suleman — known in tabloids as “Octomom” — allegedly did not report nearly $30,000 in earnings.
Her work was no secret, though. Suleman, 38, performed in adult videos and danced topless at a Florida strip club last year.
“This is not a new career for her,” her rep, Gina Rodriguez, told CNN in June when asked about her stripping gig. “She is just promoting her new video.” An adult video featuring Suleman was released in June.
Suleman revealed in April that she was so determined to build a future for her 14 young children that she would accept adult entertainment offers, although she would not touch another “human’s flesh.”
Suleman, who collected food stamps to feed her children, filed for bankruptcy in May, but the case was tossed out of court because of paperwork issues.
Suleman dreams of building a business “empire” that will pay for food, shelter and college educations for her 14 children, she told CNN’s Nischelle Turner.
She ultimately hopes to become a role model for other women facing major struggles, she said.
“I’ve got to win the battle,” she said. “But right now, people don’t understand that.”
Suleman faces up to six years and four months in prison if convicted, the prosecutor said.