Former WWE wrestler Ted DiBiase Jr. faces more than a dozen charges in stealing millions of dollars from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families anti-poverty program that is set aside for underprivileged families and low-income people in Mississippi.
DiBiase was charged with “one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 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,” according to a federal indictment unsealed Thursday.
If DiBiase is convicted on the charges, he could face up to “five years in prison on the count of conspiracy, up to 20 years for each wire fraud count as well as 10 years for each count of stealing” involving programs receiving federal funding as well as money laundering, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
In addition to DiBiase, former DHS executive director John Davis, Christi Webb, Nancy New, and others were named as coconspirators in the welfare scandal.
Ted DiBiase Sr., the father of DiBiase Jr. and Brett DiBiase, was named in an October 2021 document from Mississippi’s state auditor Shad White, who asked the trio to repay the TANF cash they received.
Ted Jr. was ordered by the state auditor’s office to reimburse $3.9 million, while his father was sentenced to repay $722, 299 from the assistance program. Before pleading guilty to his role in the state’s welfare scandal, Brett was initially asked to pay $225,950.
Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre is among those implicated in the larger scandal, as one of more than three dozen people named in a Mississippi Department of Human Services lawsuit that alleges misspending of $20 million of the state’s welfare money. In February, Favre’s lawyers filed a motion to have him dismissed from the suit.