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Mississippi welfare scandal: Luxury cars among $94M in questionable spending, audit shows

Mississippi welfare scandal: Luxury cars among $94M in questionable spending, audit shows

by Luke Ramseth Mississippi Clarion Ledger  |  Published on May 5, 2020

JACKSON, Miss. – Money meant to help poor residents was used to buy luxury cars, sponsor a college baseball tournament and hire family members of a top state official, according to a report from State Auditor Shad White.

The 104-page audit of the Mississippi Department of Human Services released Monday shows how federal welfare grant funds flowed from DHS into two nonprofit groups, which allegedly spent the cash in inappropriate or questionable ways.

More than $94 million in welfare money spending was “questioned” by auditors, according to the report – alleging either outright misspending or lack of documentation showing it was spent properly.

In a statement, White said the report “shows the most egregious misspending my staff have seen in their careers at the Office of the State Auditor.” He said, “If there was a way to misspend money, it seems DHS leadership or their grantees thought of it and tried it.”

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