Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office announced that former Mississippi Department of Human Services chief John Davis pleaded guilty to two federal counts and 18 counts of ‘State.
The DOJ said Davis and “his co-conspirators” used federal funds “for their personal use and benefit.”
On Thursday, the former state official pleaded guilty to two federal counts: one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and theft relating to programs receiving federal funds and one count of theft relating to programs receiving federal funds, the DOJ said. He could be sentenced to five years in prison for conspiracy and 10 years for theft.
“Davis was one of six defendants arrested and subsequently charged in 2020 in one of the largest embezzlement schemes in Mississippi history,” Owens said.
Auditor says $77m in funds were for welfare program
The eight-month investigation showed the department gave more than $98 million to two nonprofits: the Mississippi Community Education Center and the Family Resource Center of North Mississippi. Of the $98 million, $94 million was “questioned”, meaning it was definitely mis-spent or auditors were unable to determine if it was legally spent.
Last week, White told CNN, “I think what you had was a lot of money sent over from a state agency that decided to funnel that money into a non-profit organization. There just weren’t a ton of controls over how this nonprofit was spending that money until the auditor’s office started digging.
“And then, you know, taking another step forward into the future, I think it’s important that we show the public that there will be consequences to that.”
Favre’s alma mater has a new volleyball arena
Investigators say more than $4 million was used to build a volleyball center supported by Brett Favre at the University of Southern Mississippi, Favre’s alma mater, and where his daughter played the sport at the time. .
The State of Mississippi filed a civil lawsuit against more than 35 people and entities, including Pro Football Hall of Famer, earlier this year.
Bryant and Favre have not been criminally charged with wrongdoing at this time. Bryant is also not named as a defendant in the civil lawsuit.
The former quarterback’s lawyer told CNN that Favre, who retired after the 2010 season and a 20-year NFL career, was unaware the social funds were being used for the volleyball center -ball and that his fundraising efforts for the volleyball center were honorable.
CNN’s Eric Levenson and Devon Sayers contributed to this report.