Rachel Dolezal, the former Spokane, Washington NAACP president who drew controversy when it was discovered that she was accused of lying about her race, is in trouble with the law. The woman, who was born to white parents but claimed she identified as black, and has since legally changed her name to Nkechi Diallo in 2016, was charged earlier this week based on allegations of welfare fraud.
According to court documents, police say Diallo falsely reported her income when applying for food assistance benefits. She allegedly failed to disclose money that she earned from her book, In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World, as well as from speaking engagements and selling soaps, art, and dolls. She also allegedly collected unemployment benefits, which she initially did not report. As a result, she allegedly collected an overpayment of Food and Childcare Assistance in the amount of $8,847.00.
The forms Diallo filled out to apply for benefits indicated the consequence should she lie in her application.
Diallo is now facing charges of first degree theft by welfare fraud, perjury in the second degree, and false verification for public assistance. She faces up to 15 years behind bars, plus payment of $8,847.00 in restitution.
The story was first reported by Spokane’s KHQ, who went to Diallo’s home for comment. She refused to let the reporter inside and did not provide any comment. When she spoke to police prior to being charged, Diallo insisted that she did fully disclose her income.
Diallo drew national attention in 2015 for being the president of the black advocacy group, accused of lying about being black despite being born to two white parents. She resigned from her position amid the backlash.
[Image via NBC screengrab]