“It could allow for a lot of things to happen.”. quarterback whose Favre Enterprises was paid $1.1 million by a nonprofit group that received the welfare funds. Separately, Favre had also been seeking support for the construction of a volleyball center at University of Southern Mississippi, the majority of which was also funded by Nancy New’s organization, Mississippi Community Education Center, Mississippi Today reported last week. Look for the "Republish This Story" button underneath each story. Our stories may appear on pages with ads, but not ads specifically sold against our stories. “I demanded the highest level of honesty and integrity for my staff and cabinet members, and when there was ever a reason to question whether those standards were being met, I took immediate action,” Bryant said in his statement to Mississippi Today. !” Favre sent in a text to a Mississippi Today reporter Monday. They then converted funds to their personal use and concealed the conversion through various fund transfers, fraudulent documents, at least one forged signature, and deceptive accounting measures. Favre hoped the Florida-based company, Prevacus, would locate and manufacture its drug in Mississippi, which produces some of the best athletes in the country. The broader scandal is one of numerous major problems the state is facing, including the coronavirus pandemic and a prison system in crisis. If everyone reading this article gives $5 or more, we should be able to continue publishing through the crisis.

Finally, Davis and the News are accused of creating a fraud scheme to take TANF funds to pay for personal investments in medical device companies (Prevacus, Inc., and PreSolMD, LLC) in Florida. The calendar invite provides new insight into the timeline of events that led to Hinds County grand jury indictments against the News and Davis in connection to what State Auditor Shad White called a “sprawling conspiracy”; they’ve pleaded not guilty. John Davis (pictured) and Latimer Smith stand accused of fraudulently manufacturing documents to enrich Brett DiBiase using TANF money by creating invoices to pay DiBiase TANF funds for teaching classes about drug abuse that DiBiase was not actually performing. “We are still working through which specific services we can provide with the staff that we currently have,” Williams said by email. According to the auditor’s report, sub-grantees who received federal money through Mr. Davis’s group told auditors that Mr. Davis often signed off verbally on the projects they intended to fund, leaving holes in any paper trail. View the profiles of people named Nancy New. Records are kept for all cases from the last twenty years.

Nancy New and her son, Zach New, stand accused of using the News’ non-profit, MCEC, to pay for DiBiase’s drug treatment using TANF funds. Family brought Nancy to campus for the first time. That month, Bryant gave Nancy New the Mississippi Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the second highest honor the governor grants. In 1996, the TANF program converted the old federal welfare system, in which cash benefits to poor families were deemed an entitlement, to a system of block grants issued to the states. A ThinkProgress article found that in 2016, only 167 of the 11,700 Mississippi families who applied for a TANF payment were approved. Humphreys County, where four out of ten people live in poverty, is the single most heavily IRS audited county in the nation.

“I don’t care how politically connected a person may be. “(T)his is about economic development plain and simple!! “Every time someone presented an idea for partnership with state government, often to the frustration of the presenter, I directed them to the appropriate agency for review and disposition by subject-matter experts,” Bryant said in a written statement to Mississippi Today. by Anna Wolfe, Mississippi Today March 5, 2020. The alleged fraud occurred just after the meeting between Jan. 18 and Oct. 7, 2019, according to court documents. But Mr. DiBiase, who was one of the six people indicted in February, never gave those classes, auditors said. Defendants used a variety of business entities and schemes to defraud the taxpayers. The new program created work rules and time limits on aid — and, notably, gave each state much more leeway on how to spend the money.

The report also shed light on payments made to entities connected to the wrestling family, and the mixture of self-help and evangelizing that the welfare money was supposedly funding. “It’s not only that there are funds available,” Pavetti said, “there are also funds available with very little accountability that could make people feel like they could get away with it.”. The email included the misspelled name of the university’s former athletic director Jon Gilbert in the subject line. You have to credit Mississippi Today. One of his sons, Ted DiBiase Jr., also a wrestler, is listed on state records as the registered agent and officer of a company called Priceless Ventures, which offered a self-help program, “The Law of 16.” The company received more than $2 million, auditors said. Davis and Smith stand accused of fraudulently manufacturing documents to enrich Brett DiBiase using TANF money. New was raised in the Mississippi Delta and most of her family and friends remained in that region of the state. It ends today,” said Auditor White. Mr. White’s office, in a statement, said the group was “particularly dependent” on TANF funding “and engaged in significant misspending.” From 2016 to 2019, the statement said, the group was given more than $60 million in welfare money, and raised less than $1.6 million from other sources. To republish online, simply click the button, copy the html code and paste into your Content Management System (CMS). Mr. Davis, in a statement to a congressional committee last year, said that Mississippi welfare officials were using the program “to address the needs of those we serve. You do not have the right to treat taxpayer money as your own or to lie to the taxpayers about what you’re doing with that money. Brett Favre, a Mississippi native and former NFL star had an economic development idea for his home state. Through the agreement, the nonprofit rented all University athletic facilities to house “activities that benefit the area’s underserved population,” though those programs never materialized, Mississippi Today first reported Feb. 26. Shad White, the Mississippi state auditor, right, and Hinds County District Attorney Jody Owens discuss the auditor’s office investigation about millions in federal money meant for the poor, in February in Jackson, Miss. Danny Blanton, a spokesman for the human services department, said on Monday that steps were being taken to clean it up, including a planned forensic audit. “The Hinds County District Attorney’s Office looks forward to working with the State Auditor Shad White and his dedicated team to end public corruption in Mississippi,” said Owens. ATLANTA — The state of Mississippi allowed tens of millions of dollars in federal anti-poverty funds to be used in ways that did little or nothing to help the poor, with two nonprofit groups instead using the money on lobbyists, football tickets, religious concerts and fitness programs for state lawmakers, according to a scathing audit released on Monday. Give today and NewsMatch will double the impact of your tax-deductible donation. A representative, Cassandra Williams, said the nonprofit is still in operation with 25 employees, though it has closed its main Jackson office as well as its office in Hattiesburg. Auditors concluded, after an eight-month investigation, that the accused conspired to illegally obtain millions in public funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program administered by DHS. New also founded Women For Southern Miss, an organization that works to raise involvement from the community with a specific focus on involvement from women. Because of the large amount of money involved, and until the full extent of the loss to the taxpayers is determined, this is considered an ongoing investigation by the Auditor’s office. Before joining the staff at Mississippi Today in September of 2018, Anna worked for three years at Clarion Ledger. You can only publish select stories individually — not as a collection.

“The funds that were illegally obtained in this case were intended to help the poorest among us. Blanton said Monday agency representatives offered advice to the nonprofit and university “on how the lease would need to be structured to stay within federal guidelines,” but “no one currently with the agency ever saw a copy of the final $5 million lease.”. !”, Asked about his conversations with Davis, Favre texted, “I met John through our Southern miss connections years ago and my conversations with John were about the same thing Governor Bryant and I discussed. Favre and his agent, Bus Cook, who also sat on Prevacus’ advisory board, did not return several calls to Mississippi Today over the last three weeks. In 2017, the same month it received its first multi-million dollar welfare contract from Human Services, New’s nonprofit paid University of Southern Mississippi’s athletic foundation $5 million so it could build a new volleyball stadium, called the Wellness Center.

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