A former Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) official today pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the state of Mississippi of millions of dollars in federal funds.
According to court documents, John Davis, 54, of Jackson, Mississippi, and his co-conspirators fraudulently received and misappropriated federal funds — including funds from two programs, Temporary Assistance to Families in Need (TANF) and the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). – for their personal use and benefit. Under Davis’ direction, MDHS provided federal funds to two nonprofit organizations and then directed the two nonprofit organizations to fraudulently award contracts to various corporations and individuals for social services that were never provided. In addition, Davis caused the nonprofits to disburse full or near-full payments under these bogus contracts at or near the start of the contract terms, regardless of whether work was being performed and knowing that no essential services would be rendered.
Davis pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and theft relating to programs receiving federal funds and one charge of theft relating to programs receiving federal funds. He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 2, 2023 and faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for conspiracy and 10 years in prison for theft related to programs that receive federal funds. A federal district court judge will determine the sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other legal factors.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; US Attorney Darren J. LaMarca for the Southern District of Mississippi; Lead Special Agent Jermicha Fomby of the FBI’s Jackson Field Office; Responsible Special Agent Tamala Miles of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG); and the Special Agent in charge, Dax Roberson…