Rachel Dolezal pays back $8,847, agrees to community service to avoid trial on welfare fraud charges

April 4, 2019

Rachel Dolezal, the former Spokane NAACP president who captured the national spotlight when she was outed as a white woman in 2015, has agreed to pay nearly $9,000 in restitution and complete 120 hours of community service to avoid going to trial on charges of welfare fraud.

Dolezal, who changed her name to Nkechi Diallo two years ago, was charged with two felonies in May 2018.

Investigators alleged she had failed to report tens of thousands of dollars in income from her memoir, “In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World,” in order to collect $8,847 in food and child care assistance from the state Department of Social and Health Services.

Diallo entered the diversion agreement May 25 in Spokane County Superior Court. She could still face trial on the original charges if she fails to complete any part of the program, including the mandated community service hours and drug and alcohol tests.

“I think that this is a fair resolution of the case under circumstances,” her attorney, Bevan Maxey, said Thursday. “I don’t think it was Ms. Diallo’s intent to defraud anyone. I think this will allow her to move forward in her life. She’s a very intelligent and creative woman and I hope that she can put this behind her.”