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MDHS amends complaint, adds new...

MDHS amends complaint, adds new defendants in TANF misspending lawsuit

By: Sarah Ulmer - December 5, 2022

The amendment by MDHS adds 10 additional defendants to the civil complaint that the department alleges were recipients of misspent TANF funds. 

The Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) has filed a motion to amend the civil complaint that is currently in litigation regarding the misuse of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Funds under the previous administration.

The First Amended Complaint adds additional defendants to the lawsuit. It claims that those alleged parties were the recipients of some of the misspent funds. Additionally, the $1.1 million charge against Brett Favre has been dropped by the Department. Favre had recently filed to be removed from the suit.

RELATED: Favre files request to be removed from Mississippi welfare lawsuit

The amendment seeks to include “all claims under the Mississippi Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (UFTA), arising out of the same transaction or occurrence as the principal claim.”

This statute permits MDHS to recover funds from recipients to whom direct recipients of TANF funds may have transferred those funds.

The amendment adds the following as defendants: 

  • N3 Holdings
  • JTS Enterprises
  • USM Athletic Foundation
  • Lobaki, Inc.
  • Lobaki Foundation
  • William Longwitz
  • Jacob Black
  • Garrig Shields
  • Inside Capitol, LLC
  • William, Weiss, Hester and Co., PLLC (an accounting firm)

Those who were included in the complaint originally include: 

  •  John Davis
  • Mississippi Community Education Center, INC.
  • New Learning Resources
  • Nancy Whitten New
  • Zachary W. New
  • Jesse Steven New, Jr.
  • Magnolia Strategies LLC
  • Family Resource Center of North Mississippi, INC.
  • Christi H. Webb
  • Amy S. Harris
  • Brett Lorenzo Favre
  • Jacob W. Vanlandingham
  • Prevacus, INC.
  • Presolmd, LLC
  • Paul Victor Lacoste
  • Victory Sports Foundation, INC.
  • Marcus L. Dupree
  • Marcus Dupree Foundation, INC.
  • Ted M. Dibiase, SR.
  • Heart of David Ministries, INC.
  • Ted M. (Teddy) Dibiase, JR.
  • Priceless Ventures LLC
  • Familiae Orientem LLC
  • Brett Dale Dibiase
  • Restore2 LLC
  • Northeast Mississippi Football Coaches Association
  • Rise Luxury Rehab, LLC d/b/a/ Rise in Malibu
  • Adam Andrew Such
  • Nicholas Cronin Coughlin
  • NCC Ventures LLC
  • Brian Jeff Smith
  • Austin G. Smith
  • Soul City Hospitality LLC
  • Chase Computer Services

According to a release by MDHS, who said they will not be making additional comments on the suit due to ongoing litigation, amending the complaint affords MDHS additional legal grounds to recoup the taxpayer funds that were used outside the intended scope of TANF to help Mississippi’s neediest residents.

The additional defendants being added are alleged to have either received TANF funds for purposes which were not authorized under TANF or to have engaged in a conspiracy to award TANF funds for such unallowable purposes.

Warren, Washington, Issaquena, Sharkey Community Action Agency (WWISCAA) has also been removed from the civil suit, and NFL Hall of Famer Brett Favre’s portion of the claim has been reduced by $1.1 million.

“I am appreciative of the leadership at the Warren, Washington, Issaquena, Sharkey Community Action Agency (WWISCAA) for their responsiveness to MDHS’ request to satisfy claims identified in the original complaint. Following repayment of $49,190 to MDHS, WWISCAA has been removed from the complaint,” stated Bob Anderson, Executive Director Mississippi Department of Human Services. “Additionally, claims against Brett Favre have been reduced by $1.1 million due to the repayment of those unallowable costs. This agency will continue to be receptive to offers from other parties simply to repay the TANF funds, which they should not have received.”

The complaint can be amended again if additional parties and claims are made.

“Governor Tate Reeves tasked me with correcting the path of MDHS,” said MDHS Executive Director Anderson. “As part of that process, MDHS has been working hard to restore trust and put in place numerous internal controls to ensure that misspending is not repeated in the future. The rest of the task involves recovering and returning to the taxpayers the millions of dollars in misspent funds which were intended to benefit Mississippi’s needy families.  We continue that task with this motion to file an amended civil complaint.”

View the filings below:

Doc. 192 – MDHS Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint by yallpolitics on Scribd

Doc. 192-1 Exhibit a – Draft First Amended Complaint by yallpolitics on Scribd

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state.