Former Mississippi Department of Human Services director pleads guilty to conspiracy to defraud the state

The U.S. Department of Justice has issued a new press release with details about the case against the former executive director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS).

According to the release, John Davis, 54 has pleaded guilty to a number of charges including “one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to commit theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, and one count of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds.”

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“According to court documents, John Davis, 54, of Jackson, Mississippi, and his co-conspirators fraudulently obtained and misused federal funds – including funds from two programs, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) – for their personal use and benefit,” the press release reads.

The release went on to offer more details about Davis’ role in the scheme and non-profit organizations were advised to deceitfully award contracts.

“At Davis’s direction,” it adds, “MDHS provided federal funds to two nonprofit organizations and then directed the two nonprofit organizations to fraudulently award contracts to various entities and individuals for social services that were never provided.”

“In addition, Davis caused the nonprofit organizations to disburse full or almost-full payments pursuant to those sham contracts at or near the beginning of the contract periods, regardless of whether any work had been performed and knowing that no significant services would be provided.”

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For the conspiracy charge, Davis faces a maximum of five years behind bars and an additional 10 years for the charge in connection with the theft of funds from programs receiving federal funding. Davis’ sentencing is set for Feb. 2, 2023.

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