In a development that can affect Pro Football Hall of Fame Quarterback Brett Favrea major character in unfold Mississippi welfare embezzlement scandal It entered into a deal with state and federal prosecutors on Thursday.
In a deal announced by the US Department of Justice, John DavisThe former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services pleaded guilty Thursday to his role in a scheme that misdirected more than $70 million in welfare funds intended to support the state’s neediest residents. In exchange for the petition, Davis is expected to cooperate with investigators seeking additional indictments in the fraud.
Davis’ cooperation is believed to be essential to federal and state attorneys general, who are seeking information about other potential individuals involved in the various stages of misdirecting funds. Among those under investigation are several (currently) unnamed Davis co-conspirators.
Favre has come under media scrutiny for nearly $8.1 million in welfare funds allegedly distributed to entities linked to the former NFL star. of this amount, $1.1 million went directly to Favre For public speaking appearances he allegedly did not give, as well as $5 million to build a volleyball building at the University of Southern Mississippi, and another $2 million for a pharmaceutical company Favre was tied to as the investor company.
Favre paid $1.1 million for incomplete speaking engagements And if not the cumulative interest that prosecutors sought — His attorney denied that the former NFL quarterback knew that welfare money had been used in any of his endeavours. Through the plea agreement, Davis can answer any prosecutors’ questions about Favre’s level of knowledge or influence, as well as shed light on any meetings involving money that went to entities associated with the former NFL star.
According to the DOJ announcement, Davis directed his office to provide “federal funds to two nonprofit organizations and then directed the two organizations to award fraudulent contracts to numerous entities and individuals for social services that were never provided.”
As part of his argument, Davis is expected to reveal how this alleged fraud was proven and the individuals who profited from it. This cooperation is a massive coup for federal and state prosecutors, who have accused Davis of being the central broker in the embezzlement scam. Davis had been charged with more than twenty charges for his role in embezzlement and would have faced nearly 50 years in prison if convicted on all counts. Instead, with his cooperation and agreement to plead guilty on a few charges, he is expected to face only a fraction of that time behind bars in exchange for cooperation that could implicate other characters.
Davis’ plea of guilt is the second major agreement reached in the case by prosecutors, after the director of the nonprofit organization Nancy New, who was indicted and in April pleaded guilty to 13 counts related to the investigation. Neo was accused of being the front of a non-profit organization that was used as a pipeline to move welfare funds to various projects in an institution that state and government authorities have historically described as a “luxury related conspiracy”.
Aside from Favre, prosecutors are also investigating former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. Reports published by Mississippi today Detailed purported texts linking Bryant, Davis, New and Favre to the funds sought for a volleyball construction project in southern Misses. Among those materials, Bryant allegedly instructed Favre on how to write a funding proposal to be approved by the Mississippi Department of Human Services. Bryant denied any mention of using welfare funds for inappropriate projects.