'Octomom' charged with welfare fraud for concealing earnings
Nadya Suleman, who gained fame as "Octomom" after giving birth to eight babies, has been charged with welfare fraud after failing to report US$30,000 in earnings while she collected public assistance, authorities said.
Suleman, whose real name is Natalie Denise Suleman, was ordered to appear in court on Friday, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said in a statement on Monday. She was not immediately taken into custody.
Suleman was charged on January 6 with one count of aid by misrepresentation and two counts of perjury by false application. If convicted, she could face up to five years and eight months in jail.
Since their birth, the single mother has tried to support her huge family in a variety of ways, including by endorsing birth control for pets, making a pornographic video, posing for semi-nude photo shoots and participating in celebrity boxing matches.
Last year, she spent several weeks in a rehabilitation centre for what her former publicist said was anxiety, exhaustion and stress.
Efforts to reach Suleman for comment through recent associates were not immediately successful. There was no telephone listing for her in Orange, California, where she most recently lived.
Suleman, 38, was already the mother of six children when she gave birth to octuplets at a California hospital on January 26, 2009. All 14 of her children were conceived through in vitro fertilisation.
As they approach their fifth birthdays, her octuplets are the world's longest-surviving set.
Suleman has shielded them from much media attention, but occasional video and print articles seem to indicate the children are growing up healthy.