According to a Mississippi Today review of public records, the agency sent out 110 letters during roughly the last year under Anderson compared to four letters in fiscal year 2019 under Davis. MDHS sits down to discuss the embezzlement case for the first time since the news broke a week ago. "Thats to create the transparency. The defendants used a variety of business entities and schemes to defraud the taxpayers, investigators said. The News also directed millions in public money to their private businesses, used the money personally, and concealed the transactions, according to the auditors. Emails obtained by Mississippi Today provide greater insight into the scope and type of foolery occurring within the federal grants. Shortly after last year's arrests in the largest reported public embezzlement scheme in state history, a whistleblower disclosed several previously unreported fraud allegations to the welfare department regarding one of its federal grant recipients. The funds mostly came from a federal welfare grant program administered by the Mississippi Department of Human Services, and both the head of the nonprofit and the former head of the MDHS have. Check out these great suggestions. Contests. The documentation submitted by the News claimed this was to pay DiBiase for conducting training classes that never, in fact, took place, investigators said. Create a recurring donation today to join our mission. She also received first place in the regional Green Eyeshade Awards in 2021 for Public Service in Online Journalism and 2020 for Business Reporting, and the local Bill Minor Prize for Investigative Journalism in 2019 and 2018 for reporting on unfair medical billing practices and hunger in the Mississippi Delta. Mugshots: Ex-welfare chief, wrestler, others charged in Mississippi fraud case. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. 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The suspects were each released on their own recognizance Wednesday night, officials with the Hinds County Sheriff's Office said. Federal authorities and internal investigators at Mississippi Department of Human Services eventually began investigating the subgrantee, 100 Black Men of Jackson, an agency spokesperson told Mississippi Today on Tuesday. All rights reserved. After DHS employees reported their findings to the Governor, the State Auditor was notified and the investigation was launched. Skip to content. It ends today.. Mississippi Community Education Center has also failed to turn over documents the agency needs to complete its forensic audit or conduct a full grant closeout the departments process for ensuring the nonprofit complied with grant requirements and spent the funds properly. Jackson faces 30 years and over $50,000 in fines if convicted on all counts. You cant edit our stories, except to reflect relative changes in time, location and editorial style. ", Danny Blanton Chief Communications Officer with DHS did give us this statement. Wooten said it appears as if the officials are attempting to try Davis case in the media. Suspected fraud can be reported to MDHS online any time by submitting the MDHS Fraud Tip Form athttps://www.mdhs.ms.gov/report-fraud/, calling the Fraud Tip Line at 1-(800)-299-6905, or email at email@example.com. An eight-month investigation revealed that the accused conspired to illegally obtain millions in public funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program administered by DHS, White said. You deserve answers. If youre not able to add the byline, please include a line at the top of the story that reads: This story was originally published by Mississippi Today and include our website, You cannot republish our editorial cartoons, photographs, illustrations or graphics without specific permission (contact our managing editor. NEMiss.NEWS was founded in 2014 and is a division of Shivimage, LLC, and began publishing in early 2015. - The former head of the Mississippi Department of Human Services has been arrested as part of a multimillion-dollar embezzlement scheme that among other things paid . Nancy New is a long-time political ally and financial supporter of Mississippis new Governor, Tate Reeves. We are verifying those as well to determine the validity of such. We work to provide free, accessible news for everyone to create a more informed Mississippi and hold public officials accountable. As a nonprofit, your support is what powers our work. 0:27. All persons arrested by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. We moved quickly and quietly in the auditors office to put a stop to the DHS scheme before any more money was taken, and now is the time to use every investigative resource available to uncover all the fraud that remains., The story about the MDHS scandal first broke late Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 5, 2020. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. New sent a similar email to former Department of Human Services Director Christopher Freeze, who took over for Davis a few months after Davis retired in 2019. They explained to her that there had been no activities and no clients and they were told to come up with some regardless. We believe that an informed Mississippi is a better Mississippi. The former head of the Mississippi Department of Human Services has been arrested as part of a multi-million dollar embezzlement scheme that among other things paid for a former . You cant edit our stories, except to reflect relative changes in time, location and editorial style. The former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services and several others have been arrested in what the state auditor said is the largest public embezzlement case in state history.Special agents from the office of State Auditor Shad White have arrested John Davis, who retired after 28 years with DHS on July 31, 2019. Editor's Note: This is Part 1 of a three part series NEMISS.NEWS will publish regarding the matter the state auditor has called the biggest embezzlement of public funds in Mississippi history. Agents also arrested DHS employee Latimer Smith; Dr. Nancy New, owner and director of the Mississippi Community Education Center and New Learning; Zach New, assistant executive director of MCEC; Anne McGrew, accountant for MCEC; and former pro wrestler Brett DiBiase in connection with the multimillion-dollar embezzlement scheme.Tap here for mugshots. Agents also arrested DHS employee Latimer Smith; Dr. Nancy New, owner and director of the Mississippi Community Education Center and New Learning; Zach New, assistant executive director of MCEC; Anne McGrew, accountant for MCEC; and former pro wrestler Brett DiBiase in connection with the multimillion-dollar embezzlement scheme. JACKSON, Miss. The audit, on the other hand, said that when the auditors office pressed DHS agency officials about the fraud tip, some members of executive management still did not inform auditors of the fraud, or expressed to auditors that the fraud tip was minor and involved an incident of an employee using a business care for personal use, and of an employee sleeping on the job.. Any amount helps us keep producing quality journalism for Mississippi. The money was stolen from TANF funds, federal money entrusted to the state for needs of the poor. That ultimately led to (Wednesday's) arrests," DHS officials said in a statement. Former MDHS Director, John Davis, is from Brookhaven, Lincoln County, and worked for MDHS in that county before his rise to the top of the state MDHS organization. Photo gallery: Equestrian program at Mississippi College, Nurse recounts horrors inside a Yazoo City nursing home, Coverage of Mississippis sprawling welfare scandal, Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, Proudly powered by Newspack by Automattic. Johnson says he never received anything other than glowing employee reviews. For example, the people in charge of spending welfare dollars paid $5 million to help University of Southern Mississippi build a new volleyball stadium, paid retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre $1.1 million for a promotional gig, bought a horse ranch for former high school running back Marcus Dupree, paid over $3 million to Brett DiBiases brother Ted DiBiase Jr., also a retired WWE wrestler, to conduct professional development, hired officials friends and family members and paid them six-figure salaries, and paid rents on properties they owned that sat empty. Nancy New and her son are also accused of transferring millions in TANF funds to their private businesses, White said. The February 2020 internal report claimed that an employee of 100 Black Men falsified timesheets to pay people who were not working at the nonprofit and that they were using federal money to buy personal items for staff and their family, according to the audit, which did not name the organization. Please reload the page and try again. John Davis, who last year retired from the Department of Human Services, used some of the funds to pay for Brett DiBiase, a former professional wrestler, to go to drug rehab, the state auditor said. The former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services and several others have been arrested in what the state auditor said is the largest public embezzlement case in state history. 2016 Hall of Fame enshrinee, quarterback Brett Favre is greeted by the crowd during the Pro Football [+] Hall of Fame Gold Jacket Dinner on August 4, 2016 at the Canton Memorial Civic Center in Canton, Ohio. There is no division there when it comes to the criminal portion of the case, Wooten said. Mr. DiBiase never gave those classes, auditors said, because he was being treated for an opioid addiction at the Rise in Malibu rehab center in California.