PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia woman who made headlines for an elaborate prom send-off has been charged with Social Security benefits fraud.
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.
Prosecutors say that Shuler applied for benefits, describing herself as disabled and unable to work, but continued working — including operating a restaurant — costing the government more than $36,000.
Shuler threw a $25,000 Dubai-themed prom party for her son last year. This year, she threw a "Black Panther"-themed prom send-off with an actual panther for neighborhood kids. She said the party cost was in the six figures.
Defense attorney Tariq el Shabazz told WPVI-TV Shuler suffered a stroke, was in rehab and couldn't do anything for two-plus years.