Former Mississippi Welfare Director Charged With Embezzling Millions

John Davis, then executive director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, at a hearing in Jackson, Miss., in 2016.

“The funds that were...

“The funds that were illegally obtained in this case were intended to help the poorest among us,” Mr. White said in a statement Wednesday. “The funds were instead taken by a group of influential people for their own benefit, and the scheme is massive. It ends today.”

State auditors said Mr. Davis, of Brookhaven, Miss., conspired with the administrators at a nonprofit, the Mississippi Community Education Center[1], and the organization’s accountant to defraud taxpayers and create phony invoices.

The organization’s executive director, Nancy New, 67, and its assistant executive director, Zack New, 37, were arrested on Wednesday, along with the center’s accountant, Anne McGrew, 63, state auditors said.

A former Department of Human Services employee, Latimer Smith, 26, was also arrested, according to Mr. White.

It was not immediately clear Wednesday night if Mr. Davis or the other five charged had lawyers, and no one answered the phone at the homes of Mr. Davis, Ms. New, Mr. New and Mr. Smith. There was also no answer at the main office of the Mississippi Community Education Center in Jackson.


  1. ^ Mississippi Community Education Center (

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