Bribery, racketeering charges among new indictments against Nancy and Zach New

Exclusive: Hinds Co. grand jury indicts News on 46 counts in embezzlement scandal
Exclusive: Hinds Co. grand jury indicts News on 46 counts in embezzlement scandal(WLBT)
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 6:04 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - WLBT has learned more about the 46 new indictments handed down against a mother and son duo allegedly involved in what is considered the largest embezzlement scheme in the state’s history.

In January, a Hinds County Grand Jury indicted Nancy and Zachary New on an additional 46 felony counts.

Meanwhile, the judge presiding over the case has slapped State Auditor Shad White with a gag order, preventing him, his office, and witnesses from the state from commenting publicly on the case.

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The new charges stem from actions taken by the News from 2018 to 2020.

At the time, Nancy New was the owner of the Mississippi Community Education Center, while Zachary was the assistant executive director.

MCEC was in charge of distributing millions of dollars in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, money to people in need.

Instead, court documents show the News invested a large portion of the funds in a Florida biomedical company while spending others to bribe state officials to keep the funds coming.

The two are facing multiple charges under the state’s conspiracy, bribery, and racketeering laws.

New indictments show that at least four times, the News paid $40,000 to John Davis, the former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, funds that prosecutors say Davis used to pay off his personal debt.

The News made the payments as “an inducement or incentive” of modifying MCEC’s contract for distributing TANF funds.

Payments were made or promised on February 11, March 7, April 8 of 2019, as well as June 13, 2019, the “very day that John Davis signed a contract modification... which increased the limited purpose grant funds under the control of Nancy New and Zachary New by $7,600,000,” court documents state.

The indictments also show that the News paid for Davis to stay in a luxury hotel in California, at a cost of $790, and leased a limo for him while he was there, at a cost of $238.31.

Other indictments allege the News falsified documents to cover up funds that had been misdirected by MCEC, including hundreds of thousands of dollars were transferred to Prevacous, Inc., and PresolMD, a drug company.

Funds were also transferred from MCEC to New Learning Resources, Inc., where they were converted for the News’ personal use or for the use by enterprises owned by the News, Davis or Anne McGrew, a former MCEC accountant.

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