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'Octomom' gets probation in welfare fraud case

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(USA TODAY) - Nadya "Octomom" Suleman pleaded no contest Monday to one misdemeanor count of welfare fraud after repaying more than $26,000 to the state of California and Los Angeles County.

Deputy District Attorney William Clark said Suleman, 39, entered her plea before Superior Court Judge David Horwitz in Los Angeles and was sentenced to two years probation and 200 hours of community service.

Suleman, also known as Natalie Denise Suleman, gained notoriety by giving birth to octuplets and is the mother of 14 children. Clark said she filed for public assistance in January 2013 but failed to disclose that she was also getting checks for personal appearances and residuals from videos.

She was charged with failure to report nearly $30,000 in extra income she earned in 2013. Suleman paid $9,805 to the California Department of Health Care Services for Medi-Cal overpayments and $16,481 to the county Social Services Department for aid, Clark said.

Suleman could have been sentenced to more than six years in prison if she had been convicted of the multiple felony charges she faced, but prosecutors had said she probably would not be incarcerated if she paid back the money.

Suleman became an international sensation in 2009 when, with the aide of in-vitro fertilization, she gave birth to six male and two female babies. None weighed more than 2 pounds, 12 ounces. Two years later the Medical Board of California stripped her physician of his license to practice.

Suleman has bounced in and out of the headlines, signing a deal for a reality show and even dabbling in porn; she "starred" in the 2012 adult film Octomom Home Alone. That same year the house Suleman bought after the birth of her octuplets was put on the auction block when she defaulted on a loan.

 

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