A former head of a government welfare agency allegedly funneled millions of dollars through non-profit programs, which was instead used to pay for retired wrestler Brett DiBiase’s treatment at a high-end drug rehab center.
The Mississippi state auditor’s office is alleging that John Davis, the former executive director of the Department of Human Services, is alleged to have masterminded the ‘sprawling conspiracy’ which dates back 20 years and is said to involve millions of dollars.
The auditor’s office investigation found that Davis and another DHS employee created fake invoices to pay DiBiase.
Brett DiBiase, 31, is the son of Ted DiBiase Jr, who was best known in the 1970s and 1980s as WWE’s ‘The Million Dollar Man’.
Since retiring from pro wrestling, Ted DiBiase Jr has gone on to a career as an evangelist and ordained minister based in Clinton, Mississippi.
The money given to Brett DiBiase was earmarked for classes that the former wrestler was going to teach about drug use.
Instead, the money was used to pay for DiBiase’s rehab from opioid addiction at Rise in Malibu, a swanky facility overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
‘The funds that were illegally obtained in this case were intended to help the poorest among us,’ said Shad White, the state auditor.
‘The funds were instead taken by a group of influential people for their own benefit, and the scheme is massive. It ends today.’
Davis and another former DHS employee, Latimer Smith, allegedly stole money from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, a government-run welfare initiative.
The state auditor alleges that Davis and Smith knew that DiBiase was being paid for work that he wasn’t doing.
Investigators also say that other recipients of TANF illegally paid DiBiase at Davis’ direction.
Nancy New and her son, Zach New, allegedly used funds given to their non-profit, the Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC), to help pay for DiBiase’s addiction treatment.
The News submitted documents to investigators claiming that the funds were earmarked for classes that DiBiase was to have taught, but those classes never took place, it is alleged.
Authorities also claim that the News transferred millions of dollars in TANF funds to their own private businesses.
They then allegedly converted the funds to their personal use and tried to hide the paper trail using fund transfers, fraudulent documents, forged signatures, and deceptive accounting measures.
Nancy New is the founder of New Summit, a private school in Jackson, Mississippi.
She is also alleged to have used TANF funds to invest in private medical device companies, according to the Mississippi Clarion Ledger.
Davis and the News are alleged to have used the public money to invest in companies like Prevacus, Inc, and PreSolMD.
‘I don’t care how politically connected a person may be,’ White said.
‘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.’
Davis, who worked at DHS for decades before he was appointed executive director by former Governor Phil Bryant in 2016, resigned last year after the investigation was launched by the state auditor.
Davis, Brett DiBiase, Nancy New, Zach New, Smith, and Ann McGrew, the accountant for the MCEC, were arrested on Wednesday.
The indictments were filed under seal in Hinds County, according to the Clarion Ledger.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the state auditor’s office and the MCEC for comment.
A phone number connected to Ted DiBiase’s Heart of David Ministry was disconnected.