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Brett DiBiase Arrested As Part Of Largest Embezzlement Case In Mississippi History

February 6, 2020 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Brett Dibiase

The New York Times reports that Brett Dibiase has been arrested as part of what’s being described as the largest case of embezzlement in the history of the state of Mississippi. John Davis, the former director of Mississippi’s welfare agency, was also arrested for charges of embezzling millions of dollars for both personal use and to pay for DiBiase to go to a “luxury” drug rehab center. Davis previously retired in 2019 from the Department of Human Services. According to state auditor Shad White, six people were charged in total, including Davis and DiBiase.

White claims that DiBiase was paid with welfare funds for teaching drug awareness classes, but he never actually taught the classes. Instead, he was being treated for opioid addiction at The Rise in Malibu rehab center in California. Arrests came after an eight-month investigation in to the misappropriation of funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which is run by the state welfare agency.

White said: “The funds that were illegally obtained in this case were intended to help the poorest among us. The funds were instead taken by a group of influential people for their own benefit, and the scheme is massive. It ends today.

Davis reportedly conspired with administrators and accountant at the nonprofit Mississippi Community Education Center to “defraud taxpayers and create phony invoices.” This includes executive director Nancy New, assistant executive director Zack New and accountant Anne McGrew, who were also arrested yesterday, as was former Department of Human Services employee Latimer Smith. It’s unknown if any of the accused have lawyers at this time.

State auditors didn’t reveal what caused the launch of the investigation and didn’t say how much money was embezzled specifically. The only thing known is that it was for millions. The Department of Human Services said it had “self-reported the information that initiated this investigation” to the governor’s office in June 2019.

It added: “That report ultimately led to today’s arrests. We look forward to this moving through the justice system to a final disposition.

Both Mr. and Ms. New hid the crime with fund transfers, fraudulent documents and at least one forged signature and “deceptive accounting measures.” The funds were used, at least in part, to invest in medical device companies.

White added: “I don’t care how politically connected a person may be. You do not have the right to treat taxpayer money as your own or to lie to the taxpayers about what you’re doing with that money. Others doing this kind of thing are on notice: This will not be tolerated now.

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Brett DiBiase, Joseph Lee