Rachel Dolezal Hit With Welfare Fraud Charges

She faces up to 15 years in jail.

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Ex-NAACP chapter leader Rachel Dolezal now faces 15 years of prison after being accused of fraud, KHQ reports. Dolezal, who now goes by Nkechi Diallo after a legal name change in 2016, is charged with first-degree theft by welfare fraud, second-degree perjury, and false verification for public assistance after receiving thousands of dollars in food and childcare assistance.

While she claims she had fallen on hard times after the scandal that made her a household name also made her unemployable, Dolezal was apparently still benefiting from public assistance even after things had turned around for her financially. 

The investigation into the issue started March 2017, when authorities were tipped off about Dolezal's memoir, In Full Color, gathering in advance payments. That didn't match up with the income she reported: just $500 per month in child support. According to court documents, her bank statements show monthly deposits amounting to over $80,000 coming from her book deal, speaking gigs, and selling her artwork.

While the income was not reported to the Department of Social and Health Services, she did offer up a "change of circumstance" report for a one-time gig worth $20,000. She denied there were any discrepancies between what she reported and what she actually earned when she spoke to investigators in April, and then refused to answer further questions about it.

In addition to possible jail time, Dolezal is also "disqualified from receiving Food Assistance for at least a 12 month period for breaking a Food Assistance rule on purpose," according to court documents.

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