Celebrity Cash: Octomom Charged with Welfare Fraud

Nadya Suleman, dubbed “Octomom” for giving birth to octuplets, is facing charges that she lied about her income when she was receiving state financial aid, reports Alan Duke of CNN.

Suleman, made headlines in 2009 after delivering her octuplets, which she conceived through in vitro fertilization while on public assistance. She already had six children.

More business news

Yahoo earnings offer peek into Alibaba’s cave of treasure

Yahoo earnings offer peek into Alibaba’s cave of treasure

Quick facts about the Chinese e-commerce giant, which will soon debut on the American stock market.

National Science Foundation project means payday for Alexandria family

National Science Foundation project means payday for Alexandria family

The Hoffman family of Alexandria received a $28 million subsidy for the project but won’t say what they sold it for.

Bank of America posts loss

Bank of America posts loss

Bank of America swung to a loss in the first quarter, hurt by $6 billion in legal expenses.

More business news

Suleman has been charged with failing to disclose nearly $30,000 in income she earned as a topless dancer and adult film actressduring the first six months of last year, Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey said.

“While applying for public aid, the mother of 14 children allegedly failed to disclose that she was also getting checks for personal appearances and residuals from videos,” Lacey said in a news release.

Suleman is charged with one count of aid by misrepresentation and two counts of perjury by false application for aid, reports Paresh Dave at the Los Angeles Times.

In an interview with CNN, Suleman said she wants to build a business that would help pay for food, shelter and college expenses for her children.

Regardless of how good a mother Suleman may be, she was unbelievably irresponsible for choosing to have so many children without sustainable financial means to take care of them.

“The public backlash against Suleman is easy to understand,” wrote Karin Klein in an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times. “It feels like an insult to parents who carefully weigh how much time and financial support they can give their children when deciding how many to have. It feels like an injustice to people who engage in responsible decision-making so that they try to avoid being a burden on society.”

But Klein goes on to write: “Suleman herself may be deserving of nothing, but her children didn’t create any of this mess. They need to be fed, and while this might rile our taxpaying sensibilities to the core, it’s society’s job to make sure that innocent children are fed.”

Color of Money Question of the Week

Does Suleman’s choice to have children she can’t afford insult you? Send your responses to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Put “Celebrity Cash” in the subject. Be sure to include your full name, city and state.

Let’s Chat

Today, at noon ET, join me for a live online discussion.

My guest today is Beverly Harzog, author of “Confessions of a Credit Junkie: Everything You Need to Know to Avoid the Mistakes I Made.” Harzog’s book was the December pick for the Color of Money Book Club.

I’ll also be available to answer your questions if you’ve been participating in the 21-day financial fast, which started Monday. You can learn more about the fast here.

Overpaid, Underpaid

What would you say are the most overpaid or underpaid jobs in the United States?

Well, when people were polled they thought financial managers were overpaid. About 77 percent of people think financial managers, with a mean income of $123,260 a year, earn too much, according to a Business Insider/Survey Monkey Audience survey.

Not surprisingly, people also thought company chief executives, financial analysts and lawyers were overpaid.

Almost 90 percent of those surveyed thought agricultural workers, with a mean income of $21,920 a year, were underpaid. Among the other workers who survey participants thought didn’t get paid enough: child-care workers, cooks, restaurant servers, firefighters and high school teachers.

So, does your opinion matter?

“Politicians can promote equality through policies like a higher minimum wage,” Andy Kiersz, Mke Nudelman and Gus Lubin write for Business Insider.

And companies “might consider raising wages themselves to build goodwill and a stronger workforce” the writers contend.

The Affordable Care Act

Far fewer young adults have signed up on the new health care exchanges than the government has said will be needed to make the economics of the health care law work, reports The Washington Post’s Amy Goldstein and Sandhya Somashekhar.

Twenty-four percent of the nearly 2.2 million people who enrolled in the marketplaces through the end of December are between the ages of 18 and 34, according to a progress report on the exchanges released on Monday.

“The figures mean that the proportion of young adults is lagging behind what both government and outside health policy analysts have said will be required for the exchanges to remain stable. Analyses have concluded that, to prevent health plans’ premiums from rising and some insurers from potentially dropping out, roughly two in five Americans in the plans should be young adults,” Goldstein and Somashekhar write.

Administration officials are ramping up their efforts to reach young adults and get them enrolled. There’s still time to get coverage. Open enrollment doesn’t end until March 31.

Financial New Year’s Resolutions

For last week’s Color of Money Question, I asked: “How do you plan to keep any resolutions you made to become a better money manager for your personal finances in 2014?”

Here are some responses from Facebook:

Classic Daphne C. Blue of Buffalo, N.Y., wrote: “Not buy unnecessary things like more shoes/purses. Put a down payment on a house”

“Watch what I spend and try using cash I got,” wrote Gia Saunders of the District. “[I got] $60 out of the bank for this week and I still have some left. I find that cash is better.”

“Using cash, saving the receipts and write every expenditure in my notebook,” added Adrienne TheChef Washington.

Tia Lewis contributed to this report.

Readers may write to Michelle Singletary at The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20071, or michelle.singletary@washpost.com. Personal responses may not be possible, and comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer’s name, unless otherwise requested. To read previous Color of Money columns, go to www.postbusiness.com.

 
Read what others are saying