When it comes to the case of the ongoing Mississippi welfare fraud scandal, the federal government is now on the case.
Via Ken Dilanian of NBC News, John Davis has agreed to plead guilty to fraud charges. Davis directed the state’s welfare agency during the period of time that it handed out millions in federal welfare funds for improper purposes.
As Dilanian notes, the development suggests that Davis is cooperating with prosecutors. That could lead to more charges.
Davis will plead guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and theft. The crimes entail a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
“At Davis’s direction, [Mississippi’s welfare agency] provided federal funds to two nonprofit organizations and then directed the two nonprofit organizations to fraudulently award contracts to various entities and individuals for social services that were never provided,” the Justice Department said in a news release, per Dilanian.
Favre has not yet been accused of wrongdoing, but the circumstances suggest he could eventually face scrutiny. He worked to secure $5 million in funding for a volleyball stadium at his alma mater, the University of Southern Mississippi. He also obtained $3.2 million for a drug company in which he invested. Likewise, Favre received $1.1 million for apparent no-show work; he has since refunded that payment.
Favre, who has repeatedly insisted that he did nothing wrong, has been interviewed by the FBI. Although Favre is far from the mastermind of the apparent criminal enterprise, his fame could work against him. The criminal justice system is aimed at, among other things, deterring misconduct. Prosecuting Favre would help amplify that message to others who may be tempted to dip a ladle into the public well.