State Auditor testifies on TANF scandal before congressional subcommittee

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On Wednesday, Mississippi State Auditor Shad White addressed the U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Work and Welfare to discuss the largest welfare scandal in state history.

Mississippi’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) scandal emerged in 2019 when the State Auditor’s office received a tip regarding a potential kickback scheme involving the Department of Human Services (DHS).

The auditor’s investigation then revealed tens of millions of dollars had been misspent between 2016 and 2019. White provided his findings to prosecutors who have now obtained guilty pleas from six individuals, including the former head of DHS and influential nonprofit executives.

White is hopeful the information he provided to congressional leaders will lead to more restrictions being put in place to ensure incidents like the one that took place in Mississippi never occur in any other state.

“As we wait for the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice to make their decisions about whether to prosecute anyone else, I’ll once again thank the team at the Office of the State Auditor,” White said. “Their quick work stopped the loss of millions of dollars, and if reforms are implemented, it might prevent future losses in other states.”

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