(Nancy and Zach New - AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis - March 18, 2021 - Copyright 2021. The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
These charges are connected to a state investigation involving more than $77 million in misspent welfare funds.
On Tuesday, Nancy and Zach New plead guilty to charges of wire fraud, fraud against the government, and charges of bribery of a public official in Mississippi’s welfare fraud case, the state’s largest ever public embezzlement case.
These charges are connected to a state investigation involving more than $77 million of misspent welfare funds.
Nancy and Zach New each pleaded guilty to four counts of Bribery of a Public Official, two counts of Fraud Against the Government, and five counts of Wire Fraud. Nancy could face up to 100 years in prison and Zachary could face up to 75 years in prison.
“Today’s plea represents a joint victory for the District Attorney’s Office, U.S Attorney’s Office and the State Auditor’s Office,” said Jody E. Owens II, Hinds County District Attorney. “This plea sends a message to those in positions of power, that they will be held accountable for preying on the poor and abusing government funds.”
State sentencing in the case will be scheduled after Nancy New and Zachary New are sentenced in federal court. Both have already pleaded guilty to federal charges for their involvement in multiple accounts of welfare fraud.
“Today Nancy and Zach New pleaded guilty to the largest public fraud scheme in state history,” State Auditor Shad White said. “I will avoid extensive commentary because there is still a gag order in one case, but as I said today, I’m proud of the work my investigators and the prosecutors did to get us here.
White said he pledged to both state and federal prosecutors that they will help them obtain any information they need as they decide on others they will charge.
“In February 2020, I gave the FBI access to all the evidence we had. Since then, we’ve worked hand in glove each day with them to move this case forward. Between us, the FBI, and the Office of the Inspector General, this case will be fully investigated. Period,” White continued.