A North Philadelphia business woman avoided 140 years of jail time for social security fraud on Wednesday.
According to CBS Philly, Saudia Shuler, 45, who is known for throwing “lavish” parties, will instead be sentenced to a punishment of six months of house arrest, three years’ probation, 100 hours of community service, a $300 special assessment and $36,785.67 restitution.
According to prosecutors, Shuler had applied for Social Security benefits, insisting that she was disabled and couldn’t work. The issue surrounding the matter is once she got approved, she continued to work at her restaurant called Country Cookin’. She also held fundraisers and threw upscale parties, including a $25,000 prom party based on the movie, ‘Black Panther” for her son.
The party had a live camel, luxury cars and a helicopter, the Philly Voice reports. She was charged soon after the event last year and it was reported that she received nearly $37,000 in disability funds.
“Saudia Shuler is not a folk hero or neighborhood champion, she is an admitted thief who stole money from taxpayers in order to fund elaborate parties and enhance her own reputation,” William M. McSwain, U.S. Attorney said. “Social security funds are meant to help people survive through challenging times, now to finance extravagancies like helicopter rides, exotic animal rentals or casino gambling binges.”
Read More: 16 Philly residents accused of welfare fraud
Shuler made a post on Instagram to thank people for their support, including those who testified for her in court on Wednesday:
The love was so real today. Thank u everyone who took time out to show me love, pray for me, take time off of work. It ment everything ❤️💪🏾 this situation showed me a lot and taught me a lot about people. So many turned their backs on me. But baby, so many people stood tall for me. I love y’all for keeping me encouraged ❤️ i beleive god took me thru this to show me who’s who. My lawyer was amazing and did a hellava job . Thank u and love u @elshabazz_law.
To see her full message click here.
In August 2018, she pleaded guilty to six counts of wire fraud, one count of theft of government funds, and two counts of social security fraud, CBS Philly reports.