Trials delayed for mother, son accused of spending millions of welfare dollars meant for needy people in Mississippi
Published 6:17 am Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Judges have delayed the state and federal trials of a mother and son charged in one of Mississippi’s largest public corruption cases.
State Auditor Shad White has said Nancy New and Zachary New were responsible for misspending millions of dollars of welfare money that was intended for needy people in one of the poorest states in the U.S.
Their trials were scheduled to begin this week — Monday in Hinds County Circuit Court and Wednesday in federal court. Attorneys have made clear that both trials were unlikely to happen during the same week because of the complexity of the cases.
In late October, judges issued orders setting new trial dates of Jan. 3 in federal court and Feb. 7 in Hinds County Circuit Court.
State court records show Nancy New and Zachary New are both charged with conspiracy, embezzlement, fraud and making false statements to defraud the government, for alleged crimes from September 2018. They were indicted in early 2020.
Federal court records show the mother and son both face several charges, including wire fraud; conspiracy to commit wire fraud; aggravated identity theft; money laundering; and money laundering conspiracy.
Nancy New and Zachary New have pleaded not guilty to all state and federal charges.
Allegations about misspending of money from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program came to light in early 2020 when Mississippi Department of Human Services former director John Davis, Nancy New, Zachary New and three other people were indicted.
Nancy New was leader of Mississippi Community Education Center, an organization that paid former NFL player Brett Favre to make speeches and commercials. Favre has repaid $1.1 million to the state. White said Favre failed to make the speeches that a contract required. Favre said he has done charity work in Mississippi and Wisconsin.
Favre — a former Green Bay Packers quarterback who lives in Mississippi — still owes $228,000 in interest, White said. The state attorney general could sue if that is not paid by mid-November. Favre is not facing any criminal charges.
Nancy New was president and Zachary New was vice president of a for-profit company called New Learning Resources Inc. The company was also doing business as New Learning Resources School District, which has operated the private New Summit School in Jackson and several other schools.
Federal indictments accuse Nancy New and Zachary New of conspiracy to commit wire fraud by saying they created and submitted documents to the Mississippi Department of Education to receive state money to pay teachers at New Summit School in Jackson, North New Summit School in Greenwood and South New Summit School in Hattiesburg.