Super fraudster: Saudia Shuler [right], the Philly mom who splashed $25,000 for her son’s 2017 prom, is charged with wire fraud, theft of government funds and Social Security fraud
A flamboyant Philadelphia restaurateur well-known for throwing extravagant parties, including her son’s “epic” $25,000 prom party, which boasted camels, three tons of sand and custom clothing, has been charged with Social Security fraud.
Saudia Shuler allegedly collected nearly $37,000 in government benefits by pretending to be disabled and unable to work, according to the U.S. attorney for Eastern Pennsylvania. When the benefits were approved, she continued to operate her restaurant, Country Cookin’.
However, she failed to report her additional work and income to Social Security. A clear violation of program rules.
‘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, explained to ABC 6.
‘The woman claimed to be disabled as far back 2014. But she was found to have still operated her eatery,’ Leahy added.
‘When asked about the quality of life [Shuler] 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 said.
Saudia Shuler is seen [photo], with the black leopard named “Queen” at the Wakanda-themed prom sendoff in North Philadelphia on June 6
The 44-year-old mother is facing six counts of wire fraud, one count of theft of government funds, and two counts of Social Security fraud. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 140 years behind bars.
She nabbed national headlines last year for the lavish Dubai-theme prom sendoff she hosted for her son, Johnny Eden Jr. Shuler purchased tons of sand and other wild decor for the block party as well as a custom-made outfits for Eden and his three dates.
Luxury cars, including a Rolls-Royce and a Lamborghini, were also on loan for the evening. They called the event “Dubai to Philly.”
“At first I was like, it was too much, I don’t really like a lot of attention,” Eden told CBS Philly at the time. “It was epic, man. I had my family out here. That’s all I really cared about is my family being out here. My mom did her thing. She was the real MVP.”
Several months later, Shuler hosted a massive neighborhood Christmas party, which included hundreds of gifts and two reindeer, according to NBC 10.
Shuler seen here with rapper Lil Uzi Vert [photo], 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, prosecutors said
At the time she said she hosted such events as a way to celebrate her good fortune after dealing with tragedies — including the murder of her son’s father — and multiple health scares over the last several years.
“I had a stroke. I had seizures. I had cancer,” she told the news station. “All within the last three years.”
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. The neighborhood went wild for the bash, above.
Schuler’s ‘Black Panther’ themed party for neighborhood youngsters
For Christmas, Saudia “Saudi Claus” Schuler hosts massive block party for hundreds of neighborhood kids
Deputy Chief of Health Care Fraud Beth Leahy told ABC that there’s evidence the Philly party-thrower has been defrauding the government since 2014.
“When asked about the quality of life, she said that she couldn’t, rarely cook any meals and that her cousin cooked for her,” Leahy said. “In reality Ms. Shuler was running a food take-out business for Country Cookin,” costing the government close to $37,000.
Leahy added that the woman claimed to be disabled as far back 2014. But she was found to have still operated her eatery.
Shuler’s attorney, Tariq El-Shabazz, pushed back against the charges, emphasizing that she has faced a slew of health issues.
“Ms. Shuler suffered from a stroke and as a result of that she was in rehab — she was unable to do anything for two-plus years around the same time she was allegedly perpetrating this particular fraud,” he said.
Saudia Shuler faces a staggering 140 years with the maximum sentence, if convicted according to Fox 29. The period would include supervised released and full restitution of the money to the government.
Her lawyer, Tariq El-Shabazz, asserted that the allegations weren’t true.
‘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.