The largest-ever instance of public fraud in Mississippi, according to the state auditor, is the subject of an investigation. A massive fraud that transferred millions of dollars intended for welfare beneficiaries to a brand-new volleyball stadium has been exposed by investigative journalists. The corruption in the state’s politics, according to newly available evidence, reached the highest levels.
The former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, John Davis, entered a plea of guilty to charges of conspiracy and fraud last September. Davis assisted in diverting approximately $77 million that was intended for social services and welfare to individual costs and initiatives that benefited wealthy communities. One of those initiatives, a $5 million volleyball facility, now poses a threat to involve additional well-known people in the issue.
In 2017, it was reported that former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre asked the state to redirect $1.1 million from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare money to his most recent endeavor, a volleyball stadium at the University of Southern Mississippi.
He texted the nonprofit in charge of making grants asking if there was any way the media could learn where the money came from in relation to the amount they were paying him for anything, which suggests he was aware that this was an improper use of the funds.
Ultimately, Favre received $4 million in misused welfare funds for the stadium construction. Currently, messages reveal that then-Gov. Phil Bryant (R) was also a part of the fraud; only a few weeks after he fired Davis due to fraud suspicions, he was urging a charitable organization headed by a friend of his wife to transfer funds to Favre. The former football player is involved in a civil case over the incident and maintains his innocence of any wrongdoing.
Davis transferred millions of dollars to his friends and family in addition to the stadium agreement. Ted DiBiase, a retired wrestler, and his sons received at least $5 million, while Marcus Dupree, a former football player, used $371,000 of his welfare money as a down payment on a mansion.
Davis even used stolen money to pay for his son’s treatment in Malibu, California. It indicates that many powerful and wealthy Mississippians were involved in robbing the state’s impoverished.