Share This Page

'Octomom' pleads no contest to welfare fraud

| Monday, July 14, 2014, 9:18 p.m.
Suleman (AP photo)

LOS ANGELES — The California mother of 14 dubbed “Octomom” because she took fertility medication and gave birth to octuplets pleaded no contest in Los Angeles on Monday to welfare fraud and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service, officials said.

Nadya Suleman, 39, was sentenced to two years of probation in the case in which she was accused of failing to report income to welfare officials while receiving public assistance, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement.

Suleman was charged with failure to report nearly $30,000 in income from public appearances and videos, Lacey said. She initially faced up to five years and eight months in prison in the case. She entered her no-contest plea in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Her attorney, Arthur LaCilento, said that poor record-keeping led to the discrepancy.

Suleman, who both sides say has made restitution by paying back $9,805 to the California Department of Health Care Services and $16,481 to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services, pleaded no contest because she did not want to go through a drawn-out trial process, LaCilento said.

“We could have litigated this, but she didn't want to go through a long trial, and she wanted to resolve it quickly,” he said.

In 2009, Suleman received an initial outpouring of public support as a single mother of newborn octuplets. But she became a staple of the tabloid press when it was revealed she had undergone fertility treatments when she already had six children. Her children were only the second set of octuplets known to have survived in the United States.

Since their birth, Suleman has struggled to make ends meet, attempting a singing career and releasing a pornographic video.

In 2012, she entered rehab to treat anxiety and filed for bankruptcy.

Suleman has carefully shielded her children from public view since the octuplets were born.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.