May 26, 2022

State Auditor hits former DHS Deputy Director with $3.6M civil demand

Therese Apel

Photo by Mackenzie Marco on Unsplash

State Auditor Shad White’s office has served Jacob Black, the former Deputy Director of the Department of Human Services, with a $3.6 million civil demand.

The demand, which totals $3,648,557.60, requires Black to repay misspent Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or 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 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.

Black’s demand is also based on his role 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 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 White.

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

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