CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The West Virginia woman, who made national headlines in 2016 when she was fired from a county development organization over a racist Facebook post about former First Lady Michelle Obama, has now pleaded guilty to defrauding the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) out of $18,000 intended to help flood victims.
The U.S. attorney’s office says 57-year-old Pamela Taylor of Clay County on Tuesday admitted to falsely registering for benefits after the June 2016 flood there. Her home wasn’t damaged and she was living in it but claimed it was damaged and she was staying in a rental unit.
The prosecutor’s office said she agreed to pay back the more than $18,000 in FEMA benefits she received.
Taylor faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. Sentencing is set for May 30.
The 2016 floods killed 23 people statewide and ravaged homes, businesses, schools and infrastructure.
Taylor is the same woman who in 2016 was fired following a racist post she made on Facebook about first lady Michelle Obama.
Taylor is the former director of the Clay County Development Corp.
She made the post about Obama following Republican Donald Trump’s election as president, saying: “It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House. I’m tired of seeing a Ape in heels.”