Former Tupelo nonprofit operator Christi Webb became the seventh defendant in Mississippi’s $77 million welfare scandal after she pleaded guilty to one federal charge of theft concerning federal funds before Magistrate Judge Keith Ball in Jackson on March 16.
Court documents say she directed nearly $1.1 million to companies owned by former WWE wrestler Teddy DiBiase Jr., who has not been charged with a crime. He is the son of WWE’s “Million Dollar Man,” Ted DiBiase Sr.
Until stepping down last week, Webb was the executive director of the Family Resource Center of North Mississippi, a nonprofit that handled millions in federal funds in coordination with the Mississippi Department of Human Services. The federal dollars included Temporary Assistance For Needy Families funds, which are meant to help poor families with children, and The Emergency Food Assistance Program funds, which provides nutrition assistance to families in need.
Former Mississippi Department of Human Services Director John Davis, who led the Mississippi Department of Human Services from 2016 to 2019, pleaded guilty on federal charges in the case in September 2022; as head of the department, he oversaw the dispensing of federal funds to nonprofits like Webb’s. Davis’ indictment at the time implicated Webb as a “co-conspirator,” though not directly by name. Casey Lott, Webb’s lawyer at the time, told the Daily Journal that month that “it was ‘absurd’ for DOJ to believe she conspired (with) John Davis.”
But in the March 16 bill of information, prosecutors say that “Davis, and at times others, directed WEBB … to award sham contracts purportedly for the delivery of social services to various individuals and entities,” including to two companies owned by retired WWE wrestler Teddy DiBiase, Jr.
The document accuses Webb of “misapplying” $700,000 in TANF funds and $497,987 in TEFAP funds to the companies. A 2021 independent forensic audit paid for by the Mississippi Department of Human Services estimated that FRC misspent $11,539,615 in TANF funds alone between 2016 and 2019. Until resigning last week, Webb had served as the nonprofit’s director since 2005.
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