Rachel Dolezal, a former president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP who generated headlines by identifying as black despite evidence to the contrary, has been accused of welfare fraud, news station KHQ reported Thursday.
According to KHQ, Dolezal, who changed her name to Nkechi Diallo in 2016, could receive up to 15 years in prison after being accused of first degree theft by welfare fraud, perjury in the second degree and false verification for public assistance.
Dolezal is accused of illegally receiving $8,747 in food assistance and $100 in childcare assistance, KHQ said.
KHQ reports that an investigation into Dolezal was launched in March 2017, after an investigator with DSHS Office of Fraud and Accountability received information that a book by Dolezal had been published.
A review of Dolezal’s records indicated that she had been reporting a typical income of less than $500 per month, but, KHQ reports, a subpoena of her self-employment records showed that she had deposited approximately $83,924 in the bank between August 2015 and September 2017, money that she didn’t report to the Department of Social and Health Services.
Over the course of the investigation Dolezal reported a “change of circumstance,” saying that a one-time job in October 2017 was worth $20,000. During an interview with investigators, Dolezal reportedly said that she fully disclosed her information when asked about potential discrepancies in her income reporting, but added that she didn’t have to answer further questions, citing her Miranda rights.
TheWrap has reached out to Dolezal for comment.
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