Rachel Dolezal charged with welfare fraud

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Rachel Dolezal has been misrepresenting her income, according to investigators in Washington state.

The former NAACP chapter leader—who was born a white woman but describes herself as "unapologetically black"—has been charged with welfare fraud and could get up to 15 years in prison if convicted, the New York Daily News reports.

Dolezal, who changed her name to Nkechi Diallo in 2016, is also accused of perjury and false verification for public assistance, reports the AP. Authorities say she illegally received $8,747 in food assistance and $100 in child care assistance between 2015 and 2017.

Dolezal came to the attention of investigators in 2017 when they learned that she had published a memoir but was still reporting income of only $500 a month, reports KHQ.

According to court documents, investigators discovered that she had deposited $83,924 into her bank account between 2015 and 2017 without declaring it to state authorities. The documents state that the money came from memoir In Full Color, speaking engagements, soap and doll making, and the sale of art.

Dolezal—who stepped down from the Spokane chapter of the NAACP and lost her job teaching African studies after her background was exposed in 2015—is due in court next month, the Washington Post reports.

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