Nadya Suleman, known as “Octomom,” pleaded no contest in court Monday regarding the welfare fraud case against her. Suleman could have faced some very stiff consequences on this one, but instead she will get probation and community service.
Octomom pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of welfare fraud, according to the Los Angeles Times. Prosecutors alleged that she had failed to properly report her earnings so that she could collect welfare benefits for her 14 children. Of course, Suleman is known by many as “Octomom” because she gave birth to octuplets, and the single mom already had six children before the birth of the eight.
Suleman originally faced four felony charges in the case, including charges of welfare fraud and perjury. She has apparently paid back more than $26,000 of the aid she received, and now she must perform 200 hours of community service. Nadya will also be on probation for two years.
As TMZ notes, much of the case revolved around Suleman’s failure to disclose about $25,000 in earnings from a raunchy video she had made. The money she paid back went to Medi-Cal to the tune of $9,805 and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services in the amount of $16,481. Apparently the approach of reducing the felony charge to a misdemeanor is common when the person involves pays the money back.
Nadya Suleman has faced many accusations regarding her finances and parenting since having the octuplets, and chances are there will be more incidents alleged in the future. Not only has the welfare fraud case put her in the spotlight, former nannies have alleged neglect toward the children as well. At this point there have been investigations into her situation, but nothing has moved forward.
Just how did Suleman pay back the money? According to The Associated Press via ABC News, she got a little help from some friends. Nadya’s attorney Arthur J. LaCilento said, “We could have litigated, there were a lot of issues we could have raised,” but “she wanted to resolve this case quickly and not go through a public ordeal.” Had she not repaid the money and been convicted of the felony charges, Suleman could have faced six years in jail. However, prosecutors always indicated that they wanted to put together a plea deal so she could continue to raise her children.
What comes next now that Octomom pleaded no contest to the welfare fraud charges? Hopefully she will find a legitimate way to earn a living that allows her to take proper care for her 14 children without relying on public assistance or adult industry opportunities.
[Image via UPI]