The West Virginia woman who went viral in 2016 for a racist Facebook post against Michelle Obama is back in the headlines after pleading guilty to defrauding the Federal Emergency Management Agency out of more than $18,000.
Pamela Taylor, 57, admitted to falsely registering for FEMA disaster benefits after a catastrophic flood in June 2016 killed more than 20 people and damaged numerous properties in West Virginia.
Taylor’s home wasn’t damaged and she was living in it during the natural disaster but she claimed it was and that she was forced to live in a rental property.
“The flood was a natural disaster. Stealing from FEMA is a manmade disaster,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart in a statement. “The floods of June 2016 were historic and devastating to thousands of West Virginians. Lives were lost. Too many of our brothers and sisters lost everything. FEMA dollars are critical but limited. Stealing critical FEMA dollars is a crime – literally and figuratively.”
Stuart noted that “Taylor’s fraud scheme diverted disaster benefits from our most desperate and vulnerable, those most in need of help. We take the solemn responsibility of ensuring FEMA dollars are used responsibly and legally. The public can rest assured that my office takes heinous acts like stealing from disaster relief funds very seriously and will prosecute each and every case brought to us to the maximum extent of the law.”
Taylor faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 when she’s sentenced on May 30.
Back in 2016, she was forced to resign as a director of the nonprofit Clay County Development amid backlash for calling Mrs. Obama an “ape in heels” in a post following Donald Trump’s presidential win.
“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,” she wrote on Facebook.