MDHS proceeding with civil complaints to recoup misspent TANF funds
Civil complaints should be finished by the end of the month.
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi Department of Human Services is moving ahead with civil complaints against individuals and groups that misspent TANF money that should have gone to the poor in this state.
There are additional names not included in civil demands issued by the State Auditor’s office last week, including a former state senator.
There are familiar names that will receive civil complaints from the Mississippi Department of Human Services in the fraud scandal that has resulted in six people facing criminal charges.
The Mississippi Community Education Center and Family Resource Center, both run by Nancy New and her son Zach New, are among those names. Also included Brett Favre and the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation.
Bob Anderson, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, tells WLBT who else is on the list.
“There’s the five million dollar volleyball facility at the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation. That entity will be named in our civil complaint. The indictments in the criminal cases make reference to TANF funds that were used to buy stock in a couple of companies called Prevacus and PreSolMD,” he said.
Some of the names in the complaint are not as familiar.
“Jacob VanLandingham was involved in the sale of those Prevacus and PreSolMd stocks,” Anderson said. “That’s the concussion drug that Brett Favre was involved in bringing to the attention of first, former Governor Bryant and then to the News.”
The list continues.
“Victory Sports Foundation and its owner Paul LaCoste received a significant amount of TANF funds and will be named in the complaint that we proceed with,” Anderson added. “Jess New, who’s another of Nancy New’s sons, received over half a million dollars in TANF funds.”
Anderson said former state senator and Madison judge, “Will Longwitz, who operated a lobbying firm called Inside Capitol, received over 400 thousand dollars in TANF funds. So there are a couple of dozen all together that I anticipate will be in our complaint.”
Ted DiBiase, Jr. Ted DiBiase, Sr; Brett DiBiase, and several family members of former MDHS Executive Director John Davis, who have been indicted on state charges in the case, will get civil complaints.
Lobaki, Inc., a Virtual Reality Company, Marcus Dupree and several people identified as friends of Ted DiBiase, Jr. will be served.
Anderson says former U.S. Attorney Brad Pigott, who the agency hired, plans to have the complaints ready by the end of the month. For those who say they didn’t know they received TANF money, Anderson says, “we believe that we can show that everybody who received these funds had reason upon you know just due diligence to know that these were, these are TANF funds,” Anderson said.
Anderson adds the TANF or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families money should have been used to get people out of poverty, bring families together, and help prevent teen pregnancies.
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