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Nkechi Diallo, also known as Rachel Dolezal, reaches settlement in welfare fraud case

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. 


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