Thread Reader

Ashton Pittman

@ashtonpittman

Sep 22

19 tweets
Twitter

NEW: A federal judge revealed multiple conspiracy and fraud indictments against John Davis, the ex-Mississippi welfare agency director who allegedly diverted $77 million meant for needy families to pet projects and rich celebrities like Brett Favre. mississippifreepress.org/27551/ex-missi…

John Davis, the former Mississippi Department of Human Services Director, faces multiple federal charges after an indictment.

mississippifreepress.org/27551/ex-missi…

Ex-Mississippi DHS Exec Pleads Guilty To Federal, State Crimes In Cooperation Deal

Recently unveiled texts between Brett Favre and Nancy New suggest that John Davis helped divert $5 million in Temporary Assistance For Needy Families Funds—meant for families with children that earn under $600/month—to build a volleyball stadium. mississippifreepress.org/27465/in-depth…

The volleyball stadium is just a part of what officials have called a “sprawling conspiracy” under John Davis' tenure that saw tens of millions go to other pet projects and wealthy celebrities, including retired pro-wrestler Ted DiBiase, Sr., and his sons. mississippifreepress.org/27551/ex-missi…

Under John Davis, TANF approval rates for $170 a month in cash assistance to poor families were the lowest in the nation, bottoming out at 1.42% in 2017—the year Davis allegedly diverted $5 million in TANF to build a volleyball stadium Brett Favre wanted.mississippifreepress.org/27551/ex-missi…

Among the allegations in the federal indictment: “On or about June 26, 2018, at DAVIS’s direction, Organization 2 entered into a contract with Company 1 for approximately $1,000,000 purportedly in exchange for creating a program to serve inner-city youth." mississippifreepress.org/27551/ex-missi…

In addition to misusing TANF funds, the Sept. 15 federal indictment alleges Davis diverted money from The Emergency Food Assistance Program, a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that helps provide low-income individuals with emergency food assistance. mississippifreepress.org/27551/ex-missi…

In-depth explainer: How Brett Favre got $6 million in welfare for a volleyball stadium mississippifreepress.org/27465/in-depth…

You can read more about the TANF scandal—the largest welfare fraud scandal in Mississippi history—at the @Mississippi Free Press TANF scandal archive here: mississippifreepress.org/tag/tanf

To support more journalism like this, be sure to follow @Mississippi Free Press and give a one-time or recurring donation to our non-profit newsroom at mfp.ms/donate. You can also subscribe to our free email newsletter at mfp.ms/subscribe.

Help us grow our newsroom in Mississippi and our systemic reporting to make a difference for our home state and beyond.

mfp.ms/donate

Give Now to Grow MFP Journalism in 2022!

Help us grow our newsroom in Mississippi and our systemic reporting to make a difference for our home state and beyond.

You can support the Mississippi Free Press by becoming an MFP VIP with a $10 monthly donation or a $100 annual donation. You'll get access to exclusive MFP VIP member events. You can become an MFP VIP at mfp.ms/join.

If you haven't yet, read this thread and/or the story: twitter.com/ashtonpittman/…

Ashton Pittman

@ashtonpittman

Sep 17View on Twitter

THREAD: In July 2017, Brett Favre met with Mississippi DHS Director John Davis and non-profit operator Nancy New. They would help him get millions in welfare funds to pay for a volleyball stadium at USM—where his daughter was about to play volleyball. 1/mississippifreepress.org/27465/in-depth…

Show this thread

The indictment names four "co-conspirators." It says “Co-Conspirator 1" was "director of Organization 1"—"a non-profit registered in Mississippi on or about June 22, 1992.” That's the same date Nancy New's non-profit, MCEC, was first registered. mississippifreepress.org/27551/ex-missi…

Meanwhile, Taylor Vance of @Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal appears to have uncovered the identities of "Organization 2" and "Co-Conspirator 2": twitter.com/TaylorVanceDJ/…

Update on this: Casey Lott, an attorney for the Tupelo-based Family Resource Center, told me that it appears federal prosecutors are describing Christi Webb, the director of the FRC, as a co-conspirator. Lott said it was "absurd" for DOJ to believe she conspired w/ John Davis.

Show this thread

BIG UPDATE: Ex-Mississippi welfare leader John Davis is pleading guilty to multiple state and federal charges in the case that saw millions in welfare funds diverted to wealthy celebrities like Brett Favre. He agreed to cooperate with other prosecutions. mississippifreepress.org/27551/ex-missi…

"John Davis, has agreed to fully cooperate...with the State and all federal authorities in the prosecution of any and all additional criminally charged defendants...for the criminal misuse of Federal TANF grant funds," the plea deal says. mississippifreepress.org/27551/ex-missi…

The filing says John Davis “will enter a guilty plea to 5 counts of Conspiracy and 13 counts of Fraud Against the Government." He is pleading guilty to 2 federal charges involving allegations he diverted money to retired pro-wrestler Teddy DiBiase, Jr. mississippifreepress.org/27551/ex-missi…

Mississippi State Auditor @Shad White praises Hinds County District Attorney Jody Owens' team for doing "an incredible job putting a stop to the flow of money to the fraudsters who took from the poorest in the state." mississippifreepress.org/27551/ex-missi…

Mississippi State Auditor Shad White says his team "has given every piece of evidence we have to federal investigators and will continue to work jointly with them to see this matter to its conclusion.” mississippifreepress.org/27551/ex-missi…

Mississippi Department of Human Services statement on ex-director John Davis's guilty plea in the welfare fraud case: "These individuals enriched themselves at the expense of Mississippi's neediest residents." Say they continue cooperating with state & federal investigators.

MDHS Statement
Along with the previous guilty pleas, today's guilty pleas are another important step in continuing the work of moving the Mississippi Department of Human Services forward in serving the residents of Mississippi who, along with the agency, are victims of the largest corruption case in Mississippi history.
These individuals enriched themselves at the expense of Mississippi's neediest residents.
As Judge Reeves stated during the hearing, the Mississippi Department of Human Services representation in the courtroom as the victim agency underscores that the individuals who perpetrated these fraudulent and illegal acts do not represent the values of MDHS.This case is far from over; MDHS continues cooperating with state and federal investigators to identify and recoup misspent taxpayer funds. Our outside counsel at Jones-Walker continues their diligent work to recover these misspent funds from all parties who improperly received money intended to benefit the least among us.

Ashton Pittman

@ashtonpittman

Writer/Journalist •Reporter @MSFreePress •Husband+dog dad •@SouthernMiss grad •Views=Mine •Follows/RTs ≠ endorsements •Tips: ashton@mississippifreepress.org

Follow on Twitter

Missing some tweets in this thread? Or failed to load images or videos? You can try to .