Woman who called Michelle Obama 'ape in heels' defrauded FEMA of $18k during 2016 West Virginia flood

The Department of Justice said that the woman, identified as Pamela Taylor, falsely registered for more than $18,000 in FEMA disaster relief for the 2016 flood in West Virginia


                            Woman who called Michelle Obama 'ape in heels' defrauded FEMA of $18k during 2016 West Virginia flood

A former local non-profit group's director in Clay County, West Virginia, who had infamously called former First Lady Michelle Obama an "ape in heels" in November 2016, reportedly pleaded guilty to defrauding the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) out of thousands of dollars.

The Department of Justice said that the woman, identified as Pamela Taylor, falsely registered for more than $18,000 in FEMA disaster relief for a 2016 flood which was among the deadliest witnessed by West Virginia. 

People trudge through the mud left over from the flooding of the Elk River along State Route 119, on June 25, 2016, in Falling Rock, West Virginia. The flooding of the Elk River claimed the lives of at least 23 people in West Virginia. (Getty Images)
People trudge through the mud left over from the flooding of the Elk River along State Route 119, on June 25, 2016, in Falling Rock, West Virginia. The flooding of the Elk River claimed the lives of at least 23 people in West Virginia. (Getty Images)

 

Taylor reportedly claimed that her main residence was damaged in the flooding which forced her to stay in a rental accommodation. However, it was later found out that her primary residence remained undamaged and she continued to live there while taking money from the federal agency, according to the New York Post.



 

 

Reports state that the woman, as part of her plea agreement, has agreed to pay restitution of $18,149.04. She now faces a prison sentence of up to 30 years and a fine up to $500,000 during her sentencing in May this year.

United States Attorney Mike Stuart commented on the incident saying that "the flood was a natural disaster. Stealing from FEMA is a manmade disaster."

Taylor, shortly after Donald Trump's election win, had taken to Facebook to mock the former first lady, 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."

Former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama waves after discussing her forthcoming memoir titled, 'Becoming', during the 2018 American Library Association Annual Conference on June 22, 2018, in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Getty Images)
Former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama waves after discussing her forthcoming memoir titled, 'Becoming', during the 2018 American Library Association Annual Conference on June 22, 2018, in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Getty Images)

 

Taylor, who was a director of the nonprofit Clay County Development Corporation, was placed on immediate leave after her controversial post on social media which drew widespread criticism.

The local mayor also got embroiled in the controversy after Beverly Whaling responded to Taylor's post with "just made my day Pam." Shortly after her comment, Whaling had to issue a written apology to media outlets saying she did not intend to be racist.

"I was referring to my day being made for a change in the White House! I am truly sorry for any hard feeling this may have caused! Those who know me know that I'm not in any way racist!" Whaling's apology read.