Judge Sets Trial Date for Rachel Dolezal Welfare Fraud Case

In this March 20, 2017, file photo, Nkechi Diallo, then known as Rachel Dolezal, poses at
AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios, File

A Washington state judge set a trial date for the welfare fraud case of Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who made her claim to fame by posing as a black woman for decades.

Judge Michelle Szambelan told Dolezal’s attorney Friday morning that the trial date would be scheduled for March 4 after multiple rescheduling attempts since Dolezal’s arrest in May 2018, KHQ reported.

Authorities arrested and charged Dolezal with first-degree welfare fraud, second-degree perjury, and making false claims about receiving public assistance in front of a judge.

Dolezal, who switched her name to Nkechi Diallo in 2016, is accused of collecting nearly $9,000 in welfare money from the state between August 2015 and November 2017.

Investigators said Dolezal falsified income reports for several years to qualify for government assistance and claimed she only received a few hundred dollars per month from friends.

But when state investigators looked into her finances, they found she deposited more than $80,000 while she had been receiving public assistance.

The state investigator learned that Dolezal— who had published a book called In Full Color— received income from book sales, speaking gigs, and sales of her arts and crafts.

Dolezal became infamous in 2015 after her parents debunked her decades-long claim that she was a black woman. During that period, Dolezal used her assumed race to become president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington, and a professor of African studies at Eastern Washington University.


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