Prom should be epic, but this prom-mom may well have taken the festive occasion a bit too far. After throwing an elaborate prom send-ff for her son and his three dates, she has been charged with Social Security benefits fraud. It seems the $25,000 party caught the attention of public officials. Now the mom may spend some party time in prison.
“The U.S. attorney’s office in Philadelphia announced charges of wire fraud, theft of government funds and Social Security fraud Tuesday against 44-year-old Saudia Shuler,” The Daily Mail Writes.
“Prosecutors say that Shuler applied for benefits, describing herself as disabled and unable to work, but continued working – including operating a restaurant called Country Cookin’ – costing the government close to $37,000.”
The 2017 prom bash, though, is what’s caught everyone’s attention.
“There’s evidence she defrauded the government and no matter who you are the government brings charges,” Beth Leahy, Deputy Chief of Health Care Fraud, told reporters.
Her disability claims span back to 2014, though she never stopped working.
“When asked about the quality of life she said that she couldn’t, rarely cook any meals and that her cousin cooked for her. In reality, Ms. Shuler was running a food take-out business for Country Cookin’,” Leahy added.
In addition to paying back the money, Shuler could face prison time. The maximum sentence is 140 years.
Tariq El-Shabazz, representing Shuler, argues that the allegations are false.
“Ms. Shuler suffered from a stroke and as a result of that she was in rehab and unable to do anything for two-plus years around the same time she was allegedly perpetrating this particular fraud,” he said.
That didn’t keep her from throwing a $25,000 Dubai-themed prom party Johnny Eden Jr., her son, and his three dates.
“The pre-prom party on June 2, 2017, in Philadelphia included a live Arabian camel, a rented Lamborghini, Range Rover and Rolls Royce, three tons of sand, and three dates all wearing custom designed gowns costing $1,500 each and Giuseppe Zanotti, Versace and Yves Saint Laurent shoes at $1,000 to $1,400 per pair,” The Daily Mail adds.
“He struggled a lot when I was sick,” Shuler told reporters at the time of the party. “I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t go to the bathroom on my own. He had to go through all that and still go to school. And I said, ‘If I make it through this, I’m going to make his prom the best’.”
The price of the party has been estimated at $25,000, though Shuler claims it was actually six figures.