SPOKANE, Wash. - Nkechi Diallo, also known as Rachel Dolezal, has reached a settlement with the State of Washington in her welfare fraud case.
Diallo's attorney Bevan Maxey confirmed she accepted a diversion agreement on March 25. Maxey said Diallo must pay restitution and complete 120 hours of community service as part of the settlement.
“I think it’s a fair and equitable resolution of the matter,” said Maxey. “I don’t believe she tried to obtain benefits that she wasn’t entitled to. Needless to say, she’s been through a lot. I believe this is the appropriate way to solve it. I think she’s anxious to move beyond this and move forward with a productive life. She’s a very intelligent and creative woman.”
Diallo was first accused of welfare fraud in May 2018.
According to court documents, the investigation into the case began when a Department of Social and Health Services criminal investigator reviewed Diallo's records and found she had been reporting her only source of income as $300 per month in gifts from friends. The investigator researched the publisher of her book and found a typical contract would include payments of $10,000 and $20,000 as advances against later royalties.
Investigators also found that Diallo had been issued a business license under multiple trade names and that she was promoting the sale of her book “In Full Color” along with the sale of her art, soaps and handmade dolls.
A subpoena of Diallo's self-employment records was issued, which included copies of her bank statements. The records showed she had not reported her self-employment income to the department.
Diallo's banks statements showed over $83,000 had been deposited into her U.S. bank account between August 2015 and August 2017. Her failure to report her income resulted in a Food and Childcare Assistance overpayment of $8,847.
Maxey said Diallo's charges will be dismissed if she pays restitution and completes the community service requirements within a year.
Diallo gained national attention after she spent years publicly identifying and pretending to be a black woman, despite being white.
Catch up on the day's news and look ahead to tomorrow by signing up for the Daily Local email newsletter from KXLY4. Headlines, events, and staff picks every weeknight at 8 p.m. Sign up HERE to get your news on the D.L.
- Local woman, community raises over $5K for friend's prosthetic leg
- Bus service will soon offer $10 rides from Spokane to Seattle
- Moses Lake Police need help identifying man hit by car
- Community Resource Exchange helps those in need find free services
- 'Shop with a Cop' sees local law enforcement take kids shopping for winter clothes
- Bomb threat forces evacuation at Moscow Middle School