Former Wrestler Ted DiBiase Jr. Charged With Theft of Millions From Mississippi Welfare Funds
Former WWE wrestler Ted DiBiase Jr. has been indicted in Mississippi and charged with the theft of millions of dollars that was reserved for needy families in the state.
According to court documents, DiBiase, along with co-conspirators John Davis, Christi Webb, Nancy New, and others, are alleged to have fraudulently obtained federal funds for their own personal use.
DiBiase is charged with "one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to commit theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, six counts of wire fraud, two counts of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, and four counts of money laundering."
If convicted, DiBiase faces the following:
- Five years maximum (in prison) for the conspiracy count
- 20 years maximum for each wire fraud count
- 10 years maximum for each count of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and for each count of money laundering
Co-conspirator John Davis was the executive of the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS).
As part of the alleged scheme, prosecutors said that after federal funds were given to MDHS, Davis directed his department to subgrant the funds to two non-profit organizations, Family Resource Center of North Mississippi Inc. (FRC) and Mississippi Community Education Center (MCED). The two organizations were operated by Webb and New, respectively.
Davis also allegedly got Webb and New to award sham contracts to various individuals and entities for the delivery of social services. At least five of those sham contracts were awarded to DiBiase's companies, Priceless Ventures LLC and Familiae Orientem LLC.
DiBiase and his companies allegedly didn't use those funds for the social services for which it was intended. Instead, he reportedly used those federal funds to buy a vehicle and a boat and for a down payment on the purchase of a house.
DiBiase's brother, former wrestler Brett DiBiase, has already pleaded guilty to state and federal charges connected to the case.
This welfare misspending scandal is similar to the one involving former NFL quarterback Brett Favre. While he is not facing criminal charges, he is among more than three dozen defendants in a civil lawsuit filed by the current Human Services director who is hoping to recover some of the welfare money wasted while Davis was in charge.
Ted DiBiase Jr., 40, was a WWE wrestler in the 2000s and 2010s. He last wrestled for the company in 2013.