A West Virginia woman who made headlines in 2016 for a Facebook post attacking then-first lady Michelle Obama as an “ape in heels” has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to defrauding the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Pamela Taylor, who was fired from her job as director of a nonprofit agency after her racist post went viral, was in the news again earlier this year as it emerged that she had fraudulently claimed more than $18,000 in FEMA benefits. Taylor had claimed that her home in Clay County, W. Va. had sustained substantial damage during a deadly flood in June 2016 — months before making her anti-Obama post. She later admitted that her home had not been damaged, nor had she been forced to move into a rental property.
Taylor pleaded guilty to embezzling the funds, which she has since repaid, in February. Last Thursday, the 57-year-old was sentenced to 10 months in a federal prison, West Virginia MetroNews reports. She has also been fined $10,000 and faces three years of supervised release upon her exit from prison.
Special Agent in Charge Mark Tasky of the Department of Health Services-Office of Inspector General issued a statement calling out Taylor, who “knowingly and willfully disregarded federal laws to personally enrich herself at a time when many people affected by this disaster were just trying to survive.”
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