Additional names could be added to list of those who receive MDHS civil complaints
MDHS Executive Director Bob Anderson says people may be a little surprised by who is not included
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi Department of Human Services is preparing at least 24 civil complaints against individuals and groups for misspent TANF funds. Federal money that should have been used to help the poor in this state.
Bob Anderson, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, says that list of 24 could be expanded as they continue the investigation into millions of dollars in TANF or Temporary Assistance To Needy Families funds.
He also tells us it may surprise some who is not on the list right now.
Civil complaints are being prepared but they are not limited to the list the Mississippi Department of Human Services shared with us.
But two people considered the ring leaders in the scheme that robbed the poorest in the state of much needed help are not on the list - for now.
“It’ll come as a little bit of a surprise to folks, probably not Nancy New and John Davis themselves. Simply because right now they’re in the midst of a criminal indictment and would very quickly, we think, probably just move to stay any civil litigation until their criminal case is resolved”, Anderson said.
In peeling through years of TANF documents, Anderson says additional people could be added to the civil and criminal complaints. As a former federal prosecutor, he says he has seen brazen and bold behavior but this case is particularly hard.
Anderson said, “Take money and call somebody an outreach coordinator who doesn’t do anything and just throw money away. You know or to create out of their imagination some leadership program called Law of 16 and just squander money on it to me is just inexcusable.”
Anderson says money that meant survival for families was taken away by greed.
“This is money that was earmarked for the least of the least among us. The poorest, the downtrodden, the people who most needed these funds to provide for them. As we say in our mission statement, ‘Tangible Help Today to Create a Lasting Hope For Tomorrow.’ And it was just taken and used for personal gain, for personal enrichment, and for personal motives,” said Anderson.
When it comes to jail time, Anderson does not believe many of those involved in the case can avoid prison.
Anderson said, “Because of the sheer amount of money we’re talking about under the federal sentencing guidelines, I see no way they can avoid jail time and frankly the state sentencing exposure is already in the 10-20 years for each one of them.”
Anderson also tells us some of the projects were great ideas such as developing a concussion drug, but not on the backs of taxpayers or the needy.
“Every state in the nation would love to have a biomedical facility located, you know, within its borders. Mississippi would certainly love to see that, but we can’t do that with public assistance funds. And that’s what is so troubling about this is that you know the ends do not justify the means. They never do,” Anderson said.
The trial for John Davis, the former Executive Director of MDHS, on state charges is scheduled to begin November 1.
Anne McGrew, who was the bookkeeper for Nancy New, withdrew her not guilty plea and pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy and to making fraudulent statements. She is scheduled to be sentenced November 29 but has a status hearing set for November 19.
MDHS plans to serve civil complaints to:
Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC)
Family Resource Center (FRC)
Brett Lorenzo Favre
New Learning Resources Foundation, Inc.
University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation, Inc.
Priceless Ventures, LLC
Ted M. (“Teddy”) DiBiase, Jr.
Ted M.DiBiase, Sr.
Heart of David Ministries, Inc.
Paul Victor LaCoste
Victory Sports Foundation, Inc.
Lobaki, Inc/Lobaki Foundation
Brian J. Smith
Marcus L. Dupree/MD Foundation
Jesse Steven New, Jr., and Magnolia Strategies LLC
Inside Capitol LLC/Will Longwitz
Austin G. Smith
Adam Such/SBGI LLC
Nicholas Coughlin/NCC Ventures LLC
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