A West Virginia woman who once called Michelle Obama an “ape in heels” appears to be the same woman who recently pleaded guilty to defrauding the Federal Emergency Management Agency out of more than $18,000.
Pamela Taylor admitted last week to illegally registering for FEMA disaster benefits after a catastrophic flooding in June 2016 that killed over 20 people and damaged numerous properties in West Virginia. At the time, she said her Clay County home was damaged by the flood and she was forced to live in a rental property, but her home wasn’t damaged and she was still living there, a Homeland Security investigation found.
“The flood was a natural disaster. Stealing from FEMA is a manmade disaster,” U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said in a statement on Wednesday.
Taylor faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail found that Taylor’s name and residences match those of the Pamela Taylor who previously made headlines for a racist Facebook post against Michelle Obama.
After Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, Taylor posted: “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.”
Taylor, a director of the non-profit Clay County Development Corp., was placed on leave following the post. Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling, who responded to the 2016 post saying “Just made my day Pam,” resigned following backlash.
Taylor’s lawyer didn’t immediately respond from a request for comment.
Contributing: The Associated Press. Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @AshleyMayTweets