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‘Octomom’ charged with lying in applying for welfare

Published: Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 3:00 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 3:30 p.m. CDT
Octuplets mom Nadya Suleman addresses the media at her home in La Habra, California, on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, during a PETA-sponsored event. (Jebb Harris/Orange County Register/MCT)

LOS ANGELES — “Octomom” Nadya Suleman, who drew international attention in 2009 when she gave birth to octuplets, could face years in jail for allegedly failing to disclose nearly $30,000 in earnings when she applied for welfare last year, prosecutors announced Monday.

Suleman, 38, is only the second U.S. woman to deliver a healthy set of octuplets. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said prosecutors recently charged her with one count of aid by misrepresentation and two counts of perjury by false application for aid.

Suleman, who has a total of 14 children, filed for welfare in Lancaster in January and February of last year, but in the following months didn’t report all of her income from personal appearances and video royalties, Deputy District Attorney William Clark said in a criminal complaint.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of five years, eight months in custody. Suleman, who was not arrested, is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment Friday, when prosecutors are expected to ask that bail be set at $25,000.

The criminal complaint alleges that Suleman illegally received $16,481 in welfare payments — $6,667 from the CalWorks financial assistance program and $9,814 from the CalFresh food aid program — during the first six months of 2013.

After the octuplets were born, Suleman, a single mother, was widely criticized because she had used in vitro fertilization to become pregnant. She was on public assistance at the time.

Suleman’s fertility doctor, Michael Kamrava, later had his medical license revoked by the state medical board. The panel ruled that Kamrava “did not exercise sound judgment” in the transfer of 12 embryos to Suleman.

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