Rachel Dolezal - the former NAACP Chapter President for Spokane Washington who instigated a public uproar when she was exposed for claiming to be African-American, even though she was born to two white parents - is facing charges of welfare fraud after she reportedly neglected to report her income from a book she wrote about the experience of discovering her "black identity," according to KHQ.
Dolezal, who recently changed her name to Nkechi Diallo, is accused of illegally accepting $8,747 in food assistance and another $100 in childcare assistance between August 2015 through November 2017. Her formal charges include 1st Degree Theft by Welfare Fraud, Perjury in the 2nd Degree and False Verification for Public Assistance. All together, she could face a maximum of 15 years in prison.
The investigation into Dolezal's abuse of the welfare system started in March 2017, when the DSHS Office of Fraud and Accountability investigator got a tip that Dolezal had been paid for her book. Typically, a publishing contract can earn one between $10,000 to $20,000.
Dolezal had been reporting her income as just $500 per month, most of which came from child support, she said. When asked by investigators how she had been paying her bills, Dolezal said she had been barely getting by with "help from friends and gifts."
However, after subpoenaing her bank records, investigators quickly learned that she'd been under-reporting her income. Her bank statements showed that she had deposited nearly $84,000 into her account between August 2015 and September 2017 without reporting the money to the State of Washington. During the investigation, Dolezal reported a "one-time change in circumstance" to the Department of Social and Health Circumstances.
After voluntarily appearing for an interview, Dolezal said she had "fully disclosed her information", and when asked about the source of certain "discrepancies" in her filings, she appeared viscerally nervous. She then ended the interview after telling investigators that she "did not have the answer."
Court documents showed that "the state of Washington seeks prosecution and restitution in this matter." In addition, the Department requested that Nkechi Diallo be disqualified from receiving food stamps for at least a year.
Since the controversy over Dolezal's "racial identity" clearly worked out for her (despite the backlash, at least she ended up with a book deal), maybe for her next work of cultural transformation, Dolezal can will herself into becoming a successful author?
At the very least, a brief (or perhaps lengthy) stay in prison should at least give her plenty of grist for her next book. And while she's inside, she'll at least have plenty of time to write it.
One wonders if Dolezal's defense will be that she "identifies" as someone who is not a tax cheat? All she needs is to hope for an appeal hearing in San Francisco or Hawaii and she should be free soon enough... if not, we wish her good luck in prison deciding on which 'group' to be friends with for potential 15 year stretch.