JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) - Mississippi’s state auditor demands the repayment of more than $77 million of misspent welfare money.
The demand is to several individuals who misspent Temporary Assistant for Needy Families (TANF) money, according to a news release from Auditor Shad White.
This includes former Department of Human Services (DHS) Executive Director John Davis, along with vendors who were paid those funds yet failed to do all the work required under their contracts, per the release.
“Two years ago my office audited DHS,” White said. “After two years of work, we found tens of millions of dollars in misspending. Those findings have now been confirmed, this month, by an independent forensic audit commissioned by DHS. It’s time for the taxpayers to attempt to recover what we lost.”
Davis is demanded to repay $96.313 million.
White’s demand also addresses two non-profits, the Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC) and the Family Resource Center (FRC).
The two entities either misspent or improperly dispersed portions of the $77 million, meaning the money was misspent by a vendor to the non-profit, according to White's news release.
MCEC’s board and leadership are demanded to repay $68.159 million.
FRC’s board and leadership are demanded to repay $15.549 million.
Auditors issued additional demands to several vendors.
- 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 is also demanded to repay $1,824 for unallowable first-class air travel, according to the news release.
The demanded amounts are to be repaid within 30 days.
These demands are civil in nature, not criminal.