Rachel Dolezal is charged with illegally receiving nearly $9,000 in government support between Aug. 2015 and Dec. 2017.
Dolezal once led the Washington state NAACP chapter. She was born white but pretending to be a Black woman.
When it was discovered that she was born to white parents in rural Montana, Dolezal resigned as head of Spokane’s NAACP.
Dolezal had also been claiming that she was living on just a few hundred dollars a month so she could receive government assistance for food and childcare.
Investigators later learned she earned $84,000 from her memoir, In Full Color, as well as speaking engagements.
Rachel was arrested in May 2018 on charges of first-degree theft by welfare fraud, perjury in the second degree and false verification for public assistance, FOX 28 reported. She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Rachel had her name changed to Nkechi Diallo. She was also the subject of a Netflix documentary titled “The Rachel Divide” that premiered on April 27, 2018.
Court documents reveal that investigators learned she had also been issued a business license under multiple trade names. Gimme Some Sugar, Living Spectrum Studios, Melanin Spectrum, Rachel Dolezal, Royal Soaps and Shine On.
Court documents also said DSHS got a call from her to report a change of circumstances. She said she did a one-time job in October and earned $20,000.
Dolezal attended Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C., completing a Master of Fine Arts degree there in 2002.
Her parents and brother said that when she applied to Howard the admissions office assumed she was black and awarded her a scholarship.
Her thesis at Howard was a series of paintings presented from the perspective of a black man. AT the time, it sparked a controversy.
Doležal was asked by a reporter about a photo on the Facebook page of the Spokane NAACP of a man identified as Doležal’s father. After being asked if the man was really Doležal’s father, she said he was but would not answer when asked if she was African American. She then walked away during the on-the-sidewalk interview.
“There are no medical witnesses to my birth,” Dolezal told Savannah Guthrie on ‘NBC Nightly News at the time.’
In November 2015, Doležal publicly acknowledged for the first time since the controversy began that she was white.
She said, “I acknowledge that I was biologically born white to white parents, but I identify as black”.
Dolezal recently hit a nerve with folks in December after trying to get in on the hype of Michelle Obama‘s highly acclaimed memoir “Becoming.”
She took to Instagram to suggest the perfect gifts for this holiday season. In the now-deleted post, Dolezal held up her book alongside Mrs. Obama’s.
She captioned the photo:
“Two great memoirs! Get mine signed and/or customized with a note to the gift recipient!”
Critics slammed her for daring to compare her a book, which sold a mere 596 copies, to Obama’s, which has topped 2 million copies.
“Rachel Dolezal needs to cut it,” one Twitter user wrote.
“I’ll take your @peta equating ‘speciesism’ to racism/sexism and raise you a Rachel Dolezal: Comparing her memoir to @MichelleObama’s,” another chimed in.
One woman proudly declared:
“She tried it, and the Black Delegation wasn’t having it!!!”
According to the Spokane County prosecutors office:
Doležal could receive a sentence of up to 15 years in prison if found guilty. She could also be ordered to pay full monetary restitution for the assistance she received.