Welfare fraud investigators have taken steps to seize Octomom's bank records and other documents that may prove she's been stealing taxpayers' money ... and what they find could land her in prison.
Welfare fraud officials obtained a search warrant to seize Octo's financial and employment records -- because they smell a rat.
We broke the story ... the L.A. County Dept. of Welfare Fraud Prevention and Investigation (WFP&I), has been investigating Nadya Suleman after getting a tip that she was collecting welfare in 2012 ... when she grossed more than $200,000.
According to the warrant -- obtained by TMZ -- investigators have targeted 2 locations -- the home and office of Octo's manager, the person who presumably has financial records showing what's up.
As we previously reported, Octo and her 14 kids are entitled to get welfare benefits if she earns less than $119,000 in a calendar year. But there's evidence she made a lot more and still grabbed public assistance money.
If the hunch is right, Octo can be prosecuted for welfare fraud, and if she's convicted she could face 3 years in prison.