Former director must pay back money from multi-million dollar fraud scheme

Published 2:55 pm Thursday, May 26, 2022

Today the Office of State Auditor Shad White served a civil demand for $3,648,557.60 on former Deputy Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services (DHS) Jacob Black. The demand requires Black to repay misspent Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (commonly called “welfare”) money.

Black was served with this demand based on audit findings from the Office of the State Auditor and new findings released in April 2022 by an independent CPA firm reviewing DHS spending. The audits found Black assisted a vendor, NCC Ventures, in violating procurement procedures.

NCC Ventures has already been issued a demand by the Auditor for work that was not completed and has been sued by the State of Mississippi.

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Black’s demand is also based on his role in assisting the flow of welfare money to the Mississippi Community Education Center—a non-profit owned by Nancy and Zach New—and the Autism Center of North Mississippi.

Nancy was the owner and director of the MCEC and New Learning, Incorporated, which she founded in 1991. Zach, her son, was also involved in his mother’s companies and served as the executive director of Oxford University School.

Nancy and Zach New have already been charged and pleaded guilty to state and federal charges in the largest public fraud scheme in Mississippi’s history.

The new findings from last month’s independent review can be found in a report published on the Auditor’s website.

“My team will continue the work we started over two years ago on this case, and continue working with all our state and federal partners, to make sure this case is fully investigated, top to bottom,” said Auditor White.

Because of an ongoing gag order, the Office of the State Auditor will have no additional comment at this time.