Fraud is committed on a variety of levels, with many lawbreakers choosing the act of underreporting and/or falsifying income in order to benefit from government assistance as their preferred choice of scamming.
The NAACP is focusing on welfare fraud in Mississippi specifically that caused over $94 million in misspending from 2017 to 2019, and they’re calling on the Department of Justice to investigate and fully prosecute those at fault.
According to ABC News, NAACP President Derrick Johnson noted in a letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland that “funds from these programs are to be used for the neediest and most vulnerable in our society.” He specifically called out John Davis, former head of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, for poorly managing money set aside for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). Davis is currently being indicted in one of the biggest embezzlement claims in the history of Mississippi following a 2020 investigation.
More information below on a handful of others named as culprits in the case, via ABC News:
“Several individuals in the case have accepted plea deals including former professional wrestler Brett DiBiase, who pleaded guilty in 2020 to a single count of making fraudulent statements for the purpose of defrauding the government.
Anne McGrew, an accountant for the MCEC, pleaded guilty in October 2021 to one charge of conspiracy to commit embezzlement.
One of the recipients of almost $1.1 million in welfare funds was former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, who lives in Mississippi. Favre allegedly received the funds for speeches that he did not give, the AP reported. Favre has not been charged and has since started repaying the funds, according to the AP.”
Mississippi State Auditor Shad White called the case the “most egregious misspending my staff have seen in their careers at the Office of the State Auditor,” also adding, “when you read this one-hundred-plus page audit, you will see that, if there was a way to misspend money, it seems DHS leadership or their grantees thought of it and tried it.” Johnson highlighted the state auditor’s 2020 findings in his letter as well, writing, “nearly two years later, despite the overwhelming documentary evidence of fraud, forgery, and abuse in this matter, DOJ has not yet launched a criminal investigation.”
A spokesperson for the Justice Department told ABC News, “The Department received the letter and will review it.” Here’s to hoping justice will be rightfully served in due time.
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