Mississippi welfare company’s ex-director pleads responsible to fraud

The previous government director of Mississippi’s welfare company pleaded responsible Thursday for conspiring to defraud the state hundreds of thousands in federal finances supposed for serving to needy households, prosecutors mentioned. 

John Davis, 54, a former legit for the Mississippi Division of Human Services and products (MDHS), pleaded responsible to 1 depend of conspiracy and one depend of robbery from systems receiving federal finances. A short while later In state court docket, he pleaded responsible to 5 counts of conspiracy and 13 counts of fraud towards the federal government.

John Davis, former director of the Mississippi Division of Human Services and products, adopted by way of his legal professional Merrida Coxwell, proper, leaves the Thad Cochran United States Courthouse in Jackson, Pass over., Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. (AP Picture/Rogelio V. Solis / AP Newsroom)

In step with court docket paperwork, Davis and his unnamed co-conspirators fraudulently received and misused federal finances from Brief Help for Needy Households (TANF) and The Emergency Meals Help Program (TEFAP) for their very own non-public receive advantages. 

The paperwork describe two of the alleged conspirators as government administrators of organizations, one as the landlord of 2 corporations and one simplest as a resident of Hinds County, Mississippi. 

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The paperwork additionally say that Davis directed MDHS to offer federal finances to 2 nonprofit organizations after which directed two nonprofit organizations to fraudulently award contracts to quite a lot of entities and people for social products and services that had been by no means equipped. 

Davis additionally brought about those nonprofit organizations to disburse complete or nearly-full bills pursuant to the faux contacts – without reference to whether or not the paintings have been fulfilled. 

John Davis

John Davis, former director of the Mississippi Division of Human Services and products confers with protection lawyers Merrida Coxwell, proper, and Charles Mullins, left, in Jackson, Pass over., on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. (AP Picture/Rogelio V. Solis / AP Newsroom)

The conspiracy fees say one group paid almost $498,000 to one of the vital corporations in June 2018. A couple of days later, that corporate entered a $1.1 million contract with the opposite corporate “purportedly in alternate for making a program to serve inner-city formative years.” The fees additionally say the similar group paid $700,000 that summer season to the corporate with the formative years program contract.

The robbery fees say Davis misused federal grants of greater than $10,000.

The federal fees had been passed down Sept. 15, however remained sealed till Wednesday. Davis waived indictment and agreed to plead responsible.

Davis faces a most penalty of 5 years in jail for the conspiracy depend and 10 years in jail for the robbery regarding systems receiving federal finances depend. His sentencing is scheduled for early February subsequent yr. 

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The scandal has produced felony fees towards a number of other folks, together with professional wrestler Ted DiBiase, referred to as the “million buck guy.” The scandal additionally has raised questions on retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and previous Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, despite the fact that neither has been charged within the welfare misspending case. 

The Related Press contributed to this document. 

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