Jackson, Miss. (AP) – A former Mississippi welfare agency director is set to plead guilty Thursday to new federal charges of conspiring to misappropriate tens of millions of dollars meant to help needy families in one of the poorest states. was America – part of The biggest case of public corruption In the history of the state
John Davis was scheduled to appear in federal court to plead guilty to 5 counts of conspiracy against the government and 13 counts of fraud.
Davis was indicted on state charges in February 2020. Charged again this spring On state charges that he participated in misappropriating welfare money, including using some to send a former pro wrestler to a luxury drug rehabilitation facility.
According to a state court agreement filed Wednesday, the state charges are being dropped in exchange for Davis pleading guilty to federal charges and testifying against others in the case.
The federal charges were handed down on Sept. 15, but remained sealed as of Wednesday. Federal court records show Davis appeared before a magistrate judge Wednesday, and Davis pleaded guilty to the indictment and agreed to stand trial on federal charges.
Davis was executive director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services from February 2016 to July 2019. He was appointed by the then Govt. Phil Bryant, Republican.
Federal charges say Davis conspired with four other people, who have not been named. Court documents describe two of the alleged conspirators as executive directors of the organizations, one as the owner of two companies and one as a resident of Hinds County, Mississippi. The capital city of Jackson is in Hinds County.
The conspiracy charges state that an organization paid approximately $498,000 to a company in June 2018. A few days later, the company entered into a $1.1 million contract with another company “in return for creating a program purportedly serving inner-city youth.” The charges also state that the same organization that season Paid the company $700,000 over the summer with a youth program contract.
The theft charges allege that Davis misused more than $10,000 in federal grants.
Each conspiracy charge is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and each theft charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In April, a mother and son who ran a non-profit organization and an education company. Guilty plea State allegations of misuse of welfare money, including lavish gifts such as first-class airfare for Davis. Nancy New and Zachary New agreed to testify against the others.
In state court on Sept. 12, attorneys for one of the listed news organizations Text messages Between retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and Nancy New, between Favre and Bryant and between Bryant and New.
The messages discussed millions of dollars in welfare money going to Favre’s pet project — a volleyball facility being built at the University of Southern Mississippi. Favre, Bryant and New all attended the university, and Favre’s daughter started playing volleyball there in 2017. Favre and Bryant have not been charged in the welfare malpractice case.
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