Federal indictment filed in case against former Miss wrestler linked to TANF scandal

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – A federal indictment was unsealed Wednesday that shows a former Mississippi wrestler is accused of using Social Security dollars to buy a car and ride and make a down payment on a home.

The indictment against Ted DiBiase Jr. is one of several conspiracies related to the misuse of millions of dollars in funds intended to help needy families.

He faces one count of wire fraud, six counts of wire fraud, two counts of theft in connection with federal welfare programs and four counts of money laundering in connection with the misuse of millions of dollars in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and emergency food. Assistance Program Funding.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years on each count of wire fraud, 10 years on each count of theft and money laundering and five years on the conspiracy count.

[READ: Former wrestler tied to TANF scandal pleads guilty to conspiracy in federal court]

Meanwhile, DiBiase and his wife, Kristen, have agreed to sell their home at 115 Rosedown Bend in Madison.

The house, located in the Reunion subdivision, is said to be involved in a transaction that violates the United States Code.

On June 20, 2020, the federal government filed a verified complaint to seize the right, title and interest in the property.

Court records say the US Marshals Service will “sell the defendant’s property on behalf of the parties in a commercially reasonable manner and handle all aspects of the sale in accordance with existing policies.”

According to the indictment, DiBiase “entered into at least five fraudulent contracts” through his companies with the Family Resource Center of North Mississippi and the Mississippi Community Education Center, the two charities at the center of the scandal.

The indictment alleges that John Davis, the former head of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, directed the FRC and MCEC to “make full or near-full payments to DiBiase and his companies … whether or not any work was performed.” . Probably nothing will be done.”

DiBiase owns Priceless Ventures LLC and is the majority owner of Familiae Orientem LLC.

Contracts dated May 15, 2018, include a $500,000 contract between Priceless and FRC to provide “leadership outreach services,” a $497,987 contract between Priceless and FRC to “assess the need for emergency food assistance,” and a $250,000 contract with MCEC to “provide services to MCEC.”

Also, “on or about June 26, 2018, the day after Familae was established in Wyoming, FRC entered into a fraudulent contract with Dibiase for approximately $1,000,000 purporting to create the RISE program to serve the needs of inner-city youth.”

The indictment states that the former wrestler used the money to “buy a car, buy a boat, and make a down payment on a house.”

The case is being investigated by the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Internal Revenue Service.

US Attorney Darren J. LaMarca, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr. and others announced.

State Auditor Shad White praised federal officials for the investigation’s progress. “Prosecutors decide who to charge with a crime, and we’re grateful to see them continue to pursue the case,” he said. “We will support their efforts with the evidence uncovered by our investigators and federal investigators.”

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