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North Philly Prom Mom Indicted on Fraud; Clergy Abuse Grand Jury Report; Cheltenham Walmart Shooting
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 08/14/18 10:01 pm | updated: 08/14/18 10:05 pm
 
A North Philly mother known for throwing extravagant prom send off parties costing tens of thousands of dollars has been charged with Social Security fraud. 44-year-old Saudia Shuler is charged with six counts of wire fraud, one count of theft of government funds, and two counts of social security fraud. She owns a take-out restaurant called Country Cookin' at 22nd and Cambria. The U.S. Attorney's office says that she collected $37,000 in social security and disability benefits after claiming she was injured and could not work. She allegedly continued to operate her restaurant after being approved for the benefits. Last spring 2017, she spent an estimated $25,000 on a prom party for her son called 'Dubai to Philly.' It featured a camel, 3 tons of sand, and exotic cars. During Christmas 2017, she transformed her block into the North Pole and gave away hundreds of toys including bikes and scooters. This spring she sent 24 teens to prom and threw a 'Black Panther' theme party complete with dancers and a live panther. The indictment says the fraud started in 2014. That's when Shuler says she suffered a stroke and got a cancer diagnosis. If convicted, she faces 140 years in jail and full restitution, a fine, and a special assessment.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General's office released a grand jury report on Tuesday, 8/14, following a 2-year investigation into clergy sexual abuse. "Today, the most comprehensive report on child sexual abuse within the church ever produced in our country was released," said Attorney General Josh Shapiro said during a press conference. The investigation covered six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania, excluding Philadelphia, and identified over 300 'predator priests' and more than 1,000 victims over several decades. The grand jury investigated the dioceses of Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton which together minister to 1.7 of the state's 3.2 million Catholics. The report also found widespread systematic cover up of the the abuse by the church. In fact, church records were used to identify the victims, abusers, and the coverup in the report. See the full report at: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/report/ See below for victim resources.

Several people were injured after shots rang out inside a Walmart in Cheltenham, Montgomery County on Tuesday evening, 8/14. It happened around 6 p.m. at the Cedarbrook Plaza Shopping Center on Cheltenham Ave. near Easton Road. There was some sort of a dispute at a cash register. A man pulled a gun from a female companion's waistband and began shooting. Three people suffered gun shot wounds, one person suffered a graze wound, and a pregnant woman who was injured after she fell in the commotion. Their injuries are all non life-threatening. The man and woman fled in a gold Pontiac Grand Prix, tossed the gun, and crashed into a police cruiser a few blocks away. The two officers in the cruiser suffered minor injuries and were taken to the hospital. The investigation is ongoing.

 
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(1) response

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 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 08/14 10:05 pm
 
Joint Response to Release of Grand Jury Report

Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Office of Victim Advocate, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's Office for Child and Youth Protection have joined to share resources and provide support to survivors and parishes in the wake of the release of the grand jury report. 

We recognize that news coverage about sexual abuse, transcripts of victim testimony, and the resultant conversations amongst friends, neighbors and family can often be traumatic and bring about feelings of helplessness, anger or despair for victims, parishes and the community. 

This report and its scope may deeply impact victims and our community at large. We want all affected to know they are not alone - there are free and confidential resources for those victims identified within the report, for parishioners in need of assistance with processing the report, as well as the community in general who may need guidance in talking through the emotional toll. Our agencies are available to provide supportive measures your community may need – assistance with hosting dialogue around these difficult realities, help in locating written resources for hope and healing, validation via phone or community in-person conversation. 

The entities identified below are free and confidential for anyone who is in need of guidance or assistance. Information will not be shared between agencies. 
For those seeking rape/sexual assault counseling:
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
888-772-7227

For those seeking resources within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and for information on resources available in other Pennsylvania diocese: 
Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Office for Child and Youth Protection
888-800-8780

For those seeking community crisis response assistance:
Keystone Crisis Intervention Team
855-SOS-KCIT (855-767-5248)

As the partnership between these three entities continues, ongoing resources will be developed and shared throughout Pennsylvania.

If you suspect child abuse, call ChildLine, the 24-hour statewide system operated by the PA Department of Human Services, toll free at 800-932-0313.
 

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