Nkechi Diallo, also known as Rachel Dolezal, pleaded not guilty to charges of welfare fraud, making false verification and second-degree perjury on Wednesday morning.Her trial is set for September 10.
According to court documents, between August 1, 2015 and November 30, 2017 Dolezal obtained public assistance when she was not entitled to it. Records said she received $8,747 in food assistance and $100 in childcare assistance illegally.
On March 23, 2017, court documents said an investigator began looking into Dolezal when it was discovered she had written a book and she made public statements that she was receiving public assistance. Investigators reviewed her Department of Social and Health Services paperwork and found she had been reporting her only source of income was $300 a month in gifts from friends. In July 2017, she also claimed that after she lost her job money was deposited into her PayPal account from people she did not know, court documents said.
Then on September 1, 2017 court documents said investigators learned Dolezal had also been issued a business license under multiple trade names like Gimme Some Sugar, Living Spectrum Studios, Melanin Spectrum, Rachel Dolezal, Royal Soaps and Shine On. They also learned she had been promoting her book ‘In Full Color’ along with the sale of her art, soaps and handmade dolls, court documents said. About two weeks later, Dolezal was subpoenaed for her self-employment records which included copies of her bank statements from September 2015 to the present. Court documents said her bank statements showed Dolezal had deposited $83,924.96 in her bank account between August 2015 and September 2017.
On Nov. 2, 2017, court documents said DSHS got a call from Dolezal to report a change of circumstances. She said she did a one-time job in October and earned $20,000.
Court documents said in March 2018, Dolezal was informed about the food assistance overpayment. Then on April 16, Dolezal was sent an interview appointment letter from DSHS investigators for April 26, 2018.
On the day of the interview, investigators told Dolezal the conversation was voluntary, she was free to leave at any time and she was advised of her rights. Court documents said she did not want to waive her rights. Documents said she asked what the investigation was about and she was told it was due to discrepancies related to reporting her income. She was then told a report would be completed and the case may be forwarded for criminal charges.