Nancy and Zach New plead guilty to multiple charges in state welfare scheme

Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 4:22 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -A mother and son duo involved in the largest welfare fraud case in the state’s history have pleaded guilty to multiple state charges, just a day after they pleaded guilty to charges in federal court.

Friday, Nancy and Zach New filed petitions to enter guilty pleas in Hinds County Circuit Court.

Zach New has agreed to plead guilty to four counts of bribery of a public official, two counts of fraud against the government, and five counts of wire fraud.

Nancy New also is pleading guilty to four counts of bribery of a public official, two counts of fraud against the government, six counts of wire fraud, and one count of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

The state recommends that Zach New be sentenced to 75 years in prison, with 17 years to serve. State prosecutors are also recommending the court sentence Nancy New to 99 years in prison with 25 to be served.

Additionally, it is recommended that all sentences run concurrently with federal sentences and that all time served will be in federal prison.

However, the state is asking the court that no sentences be handed down until the two are sentenced in federal court, documents state.

On top of potential jail time, Zach and Nancy New will each be required to pay $3,656,000 in restitution and “fully cooperate with the state in the prosecution of my co-defendants.”

The petitions come a day after the two pleaded guilty to numerous charges in federal court.

The News were accused of embezzling millions of dollars in public assistance funds, investing a large chunk of it in private businesses. Funds also went to pay for drug rehab services in California.

Nancy New was the founder of the popular New Summit School in Northeast Jackson and was the owner of the Mississippi Community Education Center, a nonprofit responsible for distributing TANF funding to families on behalf of the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

Earlier this week, additional charges were handed down against former DHS Executive Director John Davis. He is now facing 20 felony counts, following a re-indictment by a Hinds County grand jury.

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