An investigation of illegally spent welfare funds has resulted in the DiBiase family being ordered to repay millions of dollars to the state of Mississippi.
More than 77 million dollars that was intended to assist needy families in Mississippi was instead illegally spent or misappropriated in an embezzlement scheme. Mississippi State Auditor Shad White said it’s time for Ted DiBiase, two of his sons, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, and many others to pay back their share of the misused money.
The exact amount of money owed by Ted DiBiase and his sons is included in bold in the excerpt below from a press release by White’s office:
“The Auditor’s office issued a demand to [former Department of Human Services Executive Director John Davis] for $96.313 million – which includes interest – for his role authorizing over $77 million in illegal TANF spending.
Two nonprofits, the Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC) and the Family Resource Center (FRC), either misspent or improperly dispersed portions of that $77 million, meaning the money was ultimately misspent by a vendor to the nonprofit. As a result, the board and leadership of MCEC (Nancy New, Zach New, Jess New, Brian Bledsoe, Susan Floyd, Virgil “Buddy” Strickland, and Beth Purifoy) were served with a demand for $68.159 million. FRC’s board and leadership (Christy Webb, Jerry Bailey, Debbie Pickens, Jimmy Pappas, Amanda Angle, and Steven Blaylock) were served with a demand for $15.549 million.
Auditors issued additional demands to vendors who received part of the $77 million in welfare spending but did not completely fulfill the terms of their contracts:
• Austin Smith: $378,791
• Brett Dibiase: $225,950
• Favre Enterprises, along with Brett Favre and Robert Culumber: $828,000
• Heart of David Ministries, controlled by Ted Dibiase, Sr.: $722,299
• JTS Enterprises and Transformational Ventures, controlled by Brian Jeff Smith: $674,715
• The Marcus Dupree Foundation, controlled by Marcus Dupree: $789,534
• Nancy New: $2,589 (for payments received from FRC)
• NCC Ventures, controlled by Nicholas Coughlin: $237,915
• Ted Dibiase, Jr.: $3.903 million
• Warren Washington Issaquena Sharkey Community Action Agency, along with agency leaders Jan Vaughn, Jannis Williams, Janice Jelks, and Delinda Robinson: $75,261
• Zach New: $74,118 (for payments received from FRC)
Former DHS Deputy Director Jacob Black was also served with a demand for $1,824 for unallowable first-class air travel.
These board members, nonprofit executives, and individuals are liable jointly and severally for the demands. This means the individuals share responsibility for repaying portions of the total amount with John Davis.
If the demanded amounts are not repaid within 30 days, the Attorney General’s Office is responsible for enforcing the demands in court. These demands are civil in nature, not criminal. A civil demand does not imply criminal liability.”