Nadya Suleman, the woman not-so-affectionately known as "Octomom", pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to one count of welfare fraud. Suleman has yet again been accused of lying about her income in order to get government assistance to care for her 14 children.
Past counts of welfare fraud against the 38-year-old mother are due largely to her alleged failure to report income earned from personal appearances and videos even as she cashed welfare checks. This fourth count of fraud brings the total amount of restitution sought by the state of California to $26,000.
During this latest court appearance Suleman waived her right to trial. Superior Court Judge David M. Horowitz said that she was to return to court on April 16th should a plea deal have not been reached by then.
Suleman's time in court was said to have been rather brief, no more than five minutes. She remains a free woman for now, having been released on her own recognizance.
There is no telling whether or not this will be the case after Suleman appears in court next month. If she is found guilty, the Z-list celebrity could be facing a sentence of six years and four months in jail. Should Suleman agree to repay the thousands she's said to owe the state, prosecutors say she'll likely avoid a prison sentence.
Suleman's legal troubles have only increased over the past several years, since she first came to the attention of the media and public back in 2009. Suleman's decision to give birth to eight children at once and have over a dozen children as a single mother was highly controversial and remains so today. The negative public sentiment and concern for her children only increased as it became increasingly apparent she was struggling to care for them.
It was fairly obvious that Suleman was counting on her fame to support her household. As those earnings dried up, she turned to government assistance in order to care for her children.
— happi (@happimexi) March 12, 2014
— Maureen Regalado (@seazmom24) March 11, 2014
Image via YouTube