Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who made international headlines for pretending to be black and running her local NAACP chapter, is now under investigation for welfare fraud, authorities say.
Dolezal faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, KHQ-TV in Spokane, Washington reported on Thursday. Authorities have charged her with first degree theft by welfare fraud, second degree perjury and false verification for public assistance.
Dolezal, who recently changed her name to Nkechi Diallo, collected $8,747 in food welfare and $100 in childcare from August 2015 to November 2017, according to documents. However, she also deposited almost $84,000 into the bank from August of 2015 to September 2017, authorities said.
They found out about the scheme in March of last year because the Washington State Department of Social & Health Services got information that she had written a book.
The investigator knew she was getting public funds, KHQ-TV reported, but was also aware that a contract for a book publishing deal could bring in between $10,000 and $20,000. The investigator noticed that she was usually reporting an income of less than $500 a month.
Sure enough, when investigators took a look at her bank records, they found some discrepancies, according to NBC News.
The money she deposited was from her book, some speaking gigs, soap and doll making, and her art.
She did actually report a change of circumstance, KHQ-TV reported, of a job in October 2017 that paid $20,000.
When asked about the situation, she told the investigator there were no discrepancies and then ended the interview, according to KHQ-TV.
"The state of Washington seeks prosecution and restitution in this matter," court documents said, according to KHQ-TV.
"In addition, the Department requests Nkechi Diallo be disqualified from receiving Food Assistance for at least a 12 month period for breaking a Food Assistance rule on purpose. This is known as an Intentional Program Violation."
When she was outed as a white woman in 2015, Dolezal lost her position as head of the NAACP in Spokane and was removed from a police ombudsman commission. She also lost her African studies teaching job at Eastern Washington University.
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