Judge accepts Nancy and Zach News’ guilty pleas in court
State sentences will run concurrently with federal sentences.
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The mother and son duo who pleaded guilty to federal and state charges in connection with the largest welfare embezzlement scheme in Mississippi history will serve no more than 10 and 5 years behind bars respectively.
Tuesday, Judge Peterson accepted the News’ pleas of guilty and deferred sentencing.
Nancy New will serve no more than 10 years behind bars and 3 years of supervised release, while Zach New will serve no more than five years in prison and 3 years of supervised release, according to federal documents.
“Today’s plea represents a joint victory for the District Attorney’s Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the State Auditor’s Office,” said Hinds County District Attorney Jody Owens. “This plea sends a message to those in positions of power that they will be held accountable for preying on the poor and abusing government funds.”
State sentencing in the case will be scheduled after the two are sentenced in federal court.
However, any state sentences will run concurrently with their federal sentences and not beyond their federal sentences, according to their plea agreements.
The News were accused of embezzling millions of dollars in public assistance funds, investing a large chunk of it in private businesses. Funds also went to pay for drug rehab services in California.
Nancy New was the founder of the popular New Summit School in Northeast Jackson and was the owner of the Mississippi Community Education Center, a nonprofit responsible for distributing TANF funding to families on behalf of the Mississippi Department of Human Services.
Want more WLBT news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Copyright 2022 WLBT. All rights reserved.