Former WWE wrestler Ted “Teddy” DiBiase Jr.’s welfare case has taken a twist. DiBiase Jr. claims he saw Republican Gov. Phil Bryant urge an appointee to stop welfare funds for the charity Family Resource Center of North Mississippi because its director backed Democratic rival Jim Hood in the 2019 governor’s election.
According to Mississippi Today, the claim originated from a two-year-old federal court file that was just made public last Friday, September 23rd. When the state allegedly terminated the program, DiBiase collected millions in federal welfare funds to carry out various anti-poverty initiatives for two private charities. When the Mississippi Department of Human Services “abandoned” the program, one of two charities that sponsored DiBiase’s work, federal officials accused him of failing to fulfill the obligations of his contract with the state.
However, DiBiase asserted that Bryant took revenge on Christi Webb, the director of the Family Resource Center, a supporter of the then-Attorney General Hood who was challenging Republican then-Lt. Governor Tate Reeves for governor in 2019. Due to the state’s term limits statute, Bryant was unable to seek re-election that year, but he still actively supported Reeves.
DiBiase, his brother Brett DiBiase, and their father, WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase, are among 38 persons being sued by the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) to retrieve millions of dollars lost in Mississippi’s greatest welfare fraud case.
The MDHS claimed that between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2019, Mississippi Community Education Center and the Family Resource Center improperly used state funds to pay approximately $5.8 million to members of the DiBiase family, for the benefit of a DiBiase family member, or to entities owned or used by a DiBiase family member.
Brett DiBiase pleaded guilty to providing false statements in the case in December 2020. Ted DiBiase Jr. was forced to refund the state $3.9 million in October, Brett DiBiase was ordered to repay $225,950, and their father’s Heart of David Ministries was ordered to repay $722,299. The United States Department of Justice is attempting to take Ted Biase Jr.’s $1.5 million property, alleging that it was acquired with welfare program money.