Former WWE wrestler Ted DiBiase Jr. has been charged with participating in a welfare program scheme in Mississippi. The charges against him are related to a conspiracy to defraud the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in the state. According to the indictment, DiBiase and others were involved in a scheme to use TANF funds for their own personal benefit, including the purchase of vehicles, luxury items, and a home.
The TANF program is designed to provide temporary financial assistance to low-income families with children. It is funded by the federal government but administered by the states. In Mississippi, the Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC) was responsible for administering the program and distributing the funds.
DiBiase was hired by the MCEC in 2017 as a community outreach coordinator. He allegedly helped to develop a program called “The Young Millionaires” that was designed to teach financial literacy skills to TANF recipients. However, the indictment alleges that the program was used as a cover for the conspiracy to defraud the program.
The indictment alleges that DiBiase and others used TANF funds to purchase vehicles, including a truck and an SUV, for their personal use. They also allegedly used the funds to purchase luxury items such as a spa, clothing, and entertainment tickets. Additionally, the indictment alleges that DiBiase used TANF funds to purchase a home in Madison County, Mississippi.
DiBiase faces one count of conspiracy to commit theft of government property and one count of theft of government property. He could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted.
The charges against DiBiase serve as a reminder that fraud and abuse in government programs can occur at all levels and in all sectors. While programs like TANF are designed to provide vital assistance to those in need, they can also be vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
This case is still ongoing, and it remains to be seen what the outcome will be. However, the charges serve as a cautionary tale about the importance of oversight and accountability in government programs and the need to ensure that funds are used for their intended purpose.