Former WWE wrestler Ted DiBiase Jr. charged in Mississippi welfare scandal involving NFL legend Brett Favre

Former WWE wrestler Ted DiBiase Jr. has been charged for his involvement in the largest corruption case in the history of Mississippi. The entire welfare scandal is about the misappropriation of roughly $77 million intended for low-income families in the poorest state in the nation.

Court documents show that DiBiase, along with co-conspirators John Davis, Christi Webb, Nancy New and others, obtained federal funds from The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and misappropriated the money for their own personal use.

After federal funds were issued, Davis — the former executive director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services — would direct MDHS to sub-grant the funds to the Family Resource Center of North Mississippi Inc. (FRC) and Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC), which were two nonprofit organizations operated by Webb and New, respectively.

Davis would then allegedly direct Webb and New to give money to individuals and companies through sham contracts. According to the Department of Justice, at least five of those contracts were for DiBiase’s companies, Priceless Ventures LLC and Familiae Orientem LLC. DiBiase’s companies were given millions of dollars in federal funds for social services that he “did not provide and did not intend to provide.”

DiBiase allegedly used the money to buy a vehicle and a boat, as well as for the down payment on the purchase of a house, among other expenditures.

“DiBiase is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to commit theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, six counts of wire fraud, two counts of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, and four counts of money laundering,” read the document released on Thursday.

If convicted, DiBiase could be facing a a maximum penalty of five years in prison for the conspiracy count. Each wire fraud count has a maximum penalty of 20 years. There is also a maximum penalty of 10 years for each count of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and for each count of money laundering.

Davis pleaded guilty for one count of conspiracy and one count of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds on Sept. 22, 2022. New and her son, Zach, pleaded guilty to bribery and fraud charges in April 2022. This past March, Mississippi Today reported that Webb pleaded guilty to one count of theft concerning federal funds.

DiBiase’s brother, Brett, and father,Ted DiBiase Sr., were also allegedly involved. After a federal audit was completed, DiBiase was asked to return $3.9 million, while his father was ordered to pay $722, 299. Brett was asked for $225,950, but he pleaded guilty in December 2020 in a state court for making false representations to defraud the government, and then pleaded guilty to a federal charge in March of this year.

Another high-profile figured involved in the scandal is NFL legend Brett Favre. Here is a full explainer and timeline of Favre’s involvement in the Mississippi welfare scandal.

‘Tomorrow is not promised’

Omos is a physical marvel, towering at a legitimate height of 7-foot-3. His efforts in WWE are sometimes overshadowed by his stature with critics questioning his bookings opposite major performers like Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 39. Omos’ size has certainly expedited his climb, but that ladder was nearly yanked away before he took his first massive step.

Omos underwent two brain surgeries during his freshman year of college to remedy a tumor that could have caused cardiac arrest or blindness. If that wasn’t concerning enough, Omos also had a trio of rare conditions he says bestowed him with the unfortunate title of a medical marvel. Omos has acromegaly (the same condition that Andre the Giant suffered from), gigantism and partial Cushing’s disease, he previously told the “Out of Character” podcast. His health records were an Omos-sized red flag for WWE. The promotion nearly refused to sign Omos, who was financially broke at the time, because of it. That is why every opportunity presented — big or small — is not lost on Omos.

“It put me in a state where I truly appreciate everything that I am given and everything that I do,” Omos told CBS Sports ahead of his match against Seth Rollins at Backlash on May 6. “I have a passion for life and I understand that tomorrow is not promised. As an 18-year-old, I felt that situation where I didn’t know what to do and had to take everything day by day. It gives me the perspective of appreciating the loved ones around me and the moments that I experience. I make sure that I enjoy every single moment.

“Starting with AJ Styles and winning the tag team titles in Tampa. Breaking off and going on my own against Bobby Lashley [at WrestleMania] last year. I wrestled arguably the biggest draw in pro-wrestling today, which is Brock Lesnar, at WrestleMania 39 in L.A. I have accomplished so much in the last few years. For me, it’s having gratitude and being grateful and not taking things for granted.”

Check out the full interview with Omos below.

The path to WWE superstardom is unique to each athlete. Sami Zayn spent more than a decade on the independent circuit. Roman Reigns honed his skills for two years in WWE’s developmental territory. Big Show established himself as WCW headliner before jumping ship in the late ’90s. Kane endured an awful dentist gimmick before being repackaged as “The Big Red Machine.” Omos was thrown into the deep end much sooner than most.

“The Nigerian Giant” signed with WWE in January 2019 and made his Monday Night Raw debut 17 months later. By October 2020, he was teaming up with former world champion Styles. A vocal portion of professional wrestling fans have been hyper-critical of Omos’ in-ring skills. Fans were also very critical of Dominick Mysterio before he found his footing as a bratty man-child with a tongue-in-cheek prisoner gimmick. Omos keeps his thumb on the pulse of the industry and pulls from it as motivation.

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“I realized that I just need to go and perform for me, obviously, as long as the live crowd enjoys it,” Omos said. “I see everything online and on the Internet. It strikes the core sometimes. But at the end of the day, all you need to do is go out there to perform and make them shut up. It’s as simple as that… I see screenshots from various journalists and interviews. I use it as motivation to go out there and perform.”

2023 WWE Backlash predictions, card, matches, PPV preview, start time, date, location

WWE returns to Puerto Rico for the first time since 2005 when it brings Backlash to the island this Saturday. The first major event since WrestleMania features some big matches and a return to the ring for Puerto Rican music superstar Bad Bunny.

In one of the featured matches of the night, Bad Bunny will take on The Judgement Day’s Damian Priest in a San Juan Street Fight. The superstar’s first WWE match saw him team with Priest to win a match at WrestleMania 37.

Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens look to conclude their long-running rivalry with The Bloodline with a helping hand from Matt Riddle. Even after Zayn and Owens took the undisputed tag team titles off Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso, the rivalry continued and added both Riddle and Solo Sikoa. Now, all six men will meet in a pivotal match.

Plus, both women’s titles are on the line when Rhea Ripley looks to defend the SmackDown championship against Zelina Vega and Bianca Belair puts the Raw championship at stake against IYO SKY. And a grudge match is set to headline the event when Cody Rhodes takes on Brock Lesnar.

Let’s take a look at who the CBS Sports experts are picking to win in each match on Saturday’s card.

WWE Backlash 2023 predictions
Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar

Should WWE decide to put Lesnar over Rhodes here, it would be a death blow to Rhodes’ momentum. That momentum already took a hit when Rhodes lost to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania in a match where it had seemed Rhodes was destined to “finish the story” and win the world title his father never did. Rhodes was brought back to WWE as a big deal and beating Lesnar is about the only way to try and build back some of what was lost at WrestleMania. Rhodes needs the win, Lesnar doesn’t. Booking should be that simple sometimes. Pick: Cody Rhodes wins — Brent Brookhouse (also Shakiel Mahjouri)

Bad Bunny vs. Damian Priest (San Juan Street Fight)

WWE loves celebrities taking part in their events and it’s so well-established in wrestling that you can throw logic out the window when it comes to these matches. Would it make sense for Priest to absolutely demolish Bunny? Yes. But Bunny is likely going to win this match with a little help from Rey Mysterio and the LWO. The show is in Puerto Rico, Bunny is a massive Puerto Rican superstar. This is a “send the crowd home happy” match. Pick: Bad Bunny wins — Brookhouse (also Mahjouri)

SmackDown Women’s Championship — Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Zelina Vega

There are few women on the roster with as much momentum as Ripley. She is firing on all cylinders between her fantastic match with Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 39, her role as an enforcer in Judgement Day and her chemistry with Dominik Mysterio. Zelina Vega is the right opponent at Backlash: she’ll have tremendous support from her fellow Puerto Ricans, she’s a talented superstar and the pair have great chemistry. Pick: Rhea Ripley retains — Mahjouri (also Brookhouse)

Matt Riddle, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. The Usos & Solo Sikoa

The Bloodline are sorely in need of momentum, but that is exactly why they should lose on Saturday night. This appears to be the final meeting between the two parties, at least for now, after the two sides were drafted to separate brands. A win for Riddle, Zayn and Owens will give them momentum and star power on Raw; meanwhile, the friction in The Bloodline can continue on SmackDown. We appear to be headed towards another Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso rivalry, one that carried the promotion during the Thunderdome era and sorely deserved a live audience. A Jey Uso face turn would be warmly received by the crowd. Besides, it won’t take much for The Bloodline to regain momentum against new competition over on SmackDown. Pick: Matt Riddle, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn win — Mahjouri (also Brookhouse)

Raw Women’s Championship — Bianca Belair (c) vs. IYO SKY

Belair has had a wonderful reign as women’s champion and even though her time may be winding down, there are few challengers well positioned to dethrone her. A well-received, competitive match will go a long way to building Sky as a future champion but it’s too soon to strap the rocket to her. Pick: Bianca Belair retains — Mahjouri (also Brookhouse)

United States Championship — Austin Theory (c) vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Bronson Reed

It’s time to take a break from Theory. The reigning U.S. champion has done his best with his most recent stint as champion but the results have been mixed. Falling short in a triple threat with two behemoths is a soft landing as far as title losses are concerned. Lashley is overdue for a win and can be positioned as a top-level fighting champion over on SmackDown. The brand is in dire need of a believable main event champion in the absence of undisputed WWE universal champion Reigns. Lashely could be that guy. Pick: Bobby Lashley wins — Mahjouri (also Brookhouse)

Seth Rollins vs. Omos

Rollins is one of the leading contenders to win the new version of the world heavyweight championship. Omos is just a huge guy who builds up wins over lower talent and then gets fed to stars to beat in a “how did they do it?” moment. That’s not a knock on Omos, that’s a fact of how professional wrestling works and has always worked and it’s a good thing. Rollins isn’t going to lose to Omos so close to Night of Champions. Pick: Seth Rollins wins — Brookhouse (also Mahjouri)

2023 WWE Backlash card, matches, date, match card, predictions, start time, rumors, location

WWE returns to Puerto Rico in a big way. Three-time Grammy-winner Bad Bunny was announced as host for Backlash in his home of Puerto Rico for a stacked event featuring Cody Rhodes, Brock Lesnar, Sami Zayn and The Bloodline. However, Bad Bunny will now be in action as he faces The Judgement Day’s Damian Priest in a San Juan Street Fight.

Backlash marks WWE’s first major event in Puerto Rico since the company traveled to Puerto Rico for the now-defunct New Year’s Revolution event in 2005. Arguably the biggest match announced for the card is a first-time meeting between Rhodes and Lesnar. Lesnar shockingly turned on Rhodes to conclude the first Raw after WrestleMania 39. The betrayal delayed Rhodes’ attempts to secure a rematch against Roman Reigns for the undisputed WWE universal championship.

Plus, both women’s titles are on the line when Rhea Ripley looks to defend the SmackDown championship against Zelina Vega and Bianca Belair puts the Raw championship at stake against IYO SKY. And the United States championship is up for grabs when Austin Theory takes on both Bobby Lashley and Bronson Reed in a triple threat match.

Take a look below at the complete match card for the 2023 Backlash.

2023 WWE Elimination Chamber matches
Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar: A dream tag team was a nightmare in reality. Lesnar offered to help Rhodes map a route back to the world championship in a tag team match against Reigns and Sikoa. Shockingly, Lesnar turned on Rhodes in the main event and laid him out. Authority figure Adam Pearce made a match between Rhodes and Lesnar official for Backlash after Rhodes issued a challenge to the former WWE and UFC heavyweight champion.

Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens and Riddle vs. The Bloodline (Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa): The Bloodline are feeling the pressure and Reigns’ patience is wavering. Zayn and Owens put an end to The Usos’ historic undisputed tag team championship reign at WrestleMania 39. In the aftermath of the grand showcase, Riddle returned from injury and aided the new champs to level the playing field against The Bloodline. A big six-man tag team match was booked between the warring parties.

United States Championship — Austin Theory (c) vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Bronson Reed: There is nothing quite like two behemoths physically colliding in the center of the ring. A feud between Lashley and Reed has been teased for weeks and fans got a taste of what they could produce during the closing stretch of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. WWE appears to be doubling down on a meeting between the gargantuan athletes at Backlash. Theory found himself wedged between the two behemoths after it was announced that he would defend his U.S. title against both men in a triple threat.

Raw Women’s Championship — Bianca Belair (c) vs. IYO SKY: This story has felt more like a Damage CTRL tale than one involving Belair. SKY earned her shot at the title by winning a triple threat, an opportunity she received after SKY and Dakota Kai confronted Damage CTRL leader Bayley to ask why Bayley should receive another opportunity to face Belair, who has defeated her at every turn.

SmackDown Women’s Championship — Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Zelina Vega: Vega approached Pearce and requested a title shot against Ripley amid LWO’s ongoing feud with The Judgement Day. Vega expressed her determination to compete in Puerto Rico as the only Puerto Rican woman on the roster. The two recently tangoed in a mixed tag team match.

Seth Rollins vs. Omos: WWE announced a completely unexpected match between Rollins and Omos for Backlash. There have been no recent interactions between the pair on WWE programming and the booking came from left field. The match was announced on the April 21 episode of SmackDown.

Bad Bunny vs. Damian Priest (San Juan Street Fight): Bunny and Priest teamed together at WrestleMania 37 but Priest has since turned heel as one of the featured members of The Judgement Day. As Bunny has supported Rey Mysterio against his son and Judgement Day member, Dominik Mysterio, it led to several confrontations between Bunny and Priest. Priest has put Bunny through a table and Bunny retaliated with a kendo stick attack before making the street fight official.