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"Octomom" faces felony charges after alleged welfare fraud

Many Louisiana residents have probably heard of Nadya Suleman. Popularly known as "Octomom" after giving birth to octuplets five years ago, Suleman has hit a rough patch recently. She is facing felony charges after allegedly committing welfare fraud.

According to a news report, Suleman, who supports 14 young children, is accused of failing to disclose her earnings from an adult film she made in June 2012. She is also accused of failing to disclose earnings from other personal appearances that she made from January 1 to June 30, 2013.

During the first six months of 2013, Suleman was said to have illegally received $16,481 in welfare payments. In the state of California, a person with 14 dependents who earns less than $119,000 annually qualifies for welfare payments. Suleman's financial records from her previous employers, however, allegedly show that she earned more than $200,000 in 2012. She is now facing three counts of felony welfare fraud, as well as aid by misrepresentation. She is also facing two perjury counts based on an allegedly false application for benefits.

A felony charge can have serious repercussions in a person's personal and professional life. It can seriously blemish a person's reputation and at the same time, endanger one's current employment. But more importantly, it can directly affect one's family. The family of the accused can face a lot of stress from the allegations. Household finances can also be affected if a person's employment is jeopardized because of the charges.

Of course, things will not get any easier if a person facing charges gets convicted. A Calcasieu Parish resident mired in this kind of situation should be prepared when dealing with charges. Strong evidence as well as witness accounts can help establish a strong defense as a resident seeks to dismiss the charges. Seeking assistance from an experienced criminal defense lawyer is critical.

Source: Huffington Post, "Octomom Charged With Welfare Fraud," Jan. 13, 2014

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