An update on Ted DiBiase Jr.’s legal troubles.
Ted DiBiase Jr., along with his father and brother, received millions of federal welfare dollars to conduct various anti-poverty services for two private nonprofits before the state allegedly pulled the program.
According to a February 2020 report, WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase Sr. received $2.1 million in welfare through Heart of David Ministries, his religious nonprofit organization. In the initial report, it was noted that DiBiase Sr was not indicted personally as part of the allegations, but Brett DiBiase, Ted’s brother seemingly funneled money through the organization while he served as a senior official at the Mississippi Department of Human Services. Brett has since pleaded guilty to his role in the welfare scheme and had to pay back $225,950.
According to a new report by Mississippi Today, Federal authorities are attempting to seize Ted DiBiase Jr.’s house because of his alleged role in the welfare scheme. Authority says that the Mississippi Department of Human Services abandoned the program and DiBiase failed to perform the work under his contract.
However, DiBiase claims that in 2019, Republican Governor Phil Bryant directed former welfare director John Davis to discontinue the agency’s partnership with nonprofit Family Resource Center of North Mississippi because of its connection to Democrats in the state.
“Shortly before John Davis retired in mid-2019, he indicated … that the RISE program would be taken ‘in-house’ and overseen at MDHS as opposed to being overseen by FRC or MCEC,” reads DiBiase’s Aug. 10, 2020, answer to the federal complaint for forfeiture against him. “Upon information and belief, this occurred as a result of the Governor directing John Davis to cease funding and working with FRC because FRC’s Executive Director, Christi Webb, was openly supporting Jim Hood in the race for Mississippi Governor.”
“The claimant, who witnessed Bryant give that direction to Davis, was subsequently informed by Davis that his contracts with FRC would be moved to MCEC,” the filing continued. “This did not affect Claimant’s performance under the contract.”
DiBiase’s allegation against Bryant adds to claims that he used his power to influence welfare spending to punish Democratic opponents. DiBiase also argues that he completed the work the nonprofits paid him to conduct and therefore, he earned the money legally.
We will continue to report all updates on the DiBiase family.