Ex-WWE Wrestler Now Charged in Favre Scandal

Ted 'Teddy' DiBiase Jr. allegedly received $3M in welfare funds, used to purchase house and boat
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2023 8:57 AM CDT
Welfare Scandal Now Embroils Ex-WWE Wrestler
Former professional wrestler Ted "Teddy" DiBiase Jr., is shown in this Sept. 23, 2015 photograph, taken in Jackson, Miss.   (Rick Guy/The Clarion Ledger, via AP)

The son of WWE legend The Million Dollar Man is accused of using federal funds meant to help poor children to buy toys for himself. Ted DiBiase Jr., a former pro wrestler himself, was indicted Thursday on charges of wire fraud, theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, and money laundering as part of a Mississippi corruption scandal that also ensnares NFL Hall of Famer Brett Favre. The indictment claims DiBiase conspired with former state Human Services director John Davis to fraudulently obtain more than $3 million from the Emergency Food Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Davis allegedly directed funds to two nonprofits with instructions that they give contracts to DiBiase's companies for social services, per the AP.

DiBiase "did not provide and did not intend to provide" those services, according to the Justice Department. He allegedly used the funds, issued in 2017 and 2018, "to buy a vehicle and a boat, and for the down payment on the purchase of a house, among other expenditures." DiBiase pleaded not guilty on Thursday. Davis—who was also accused of conspiring with DiBiase's brother Brett, another former pro wrestler, to use $160,000 in welfare funds to send him to a luxury drug rehab facility—pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy and fraud against the government last year, while Brett DiBiase pleaded guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to defraud the government last month, per the AP and NBC News. WAPT reports Ted DiBiase is the first person embroiled in the scandal to be indicted by a federal grand jury.

DiBiase's lawyer said Thursday was "a good day" for his client, who was "forced to sit quietly for nearly three years while opportunists took unabated swings at Teddy and his family," as he "now has the opportunity to fight back publicly." "We are confident that when this process is finished, it will be clear that the government's theory is misguided and that their allegations cannot be substantiated, as they pertain to Teddy DiBiase," Scott Gilbert added, per NBC. While Favre has not been charged, he is named in a civil lawsuit in which the state seeks to recover more than $20 million in welfare money distributed by TANF. Favre has repaid $1.1 million he received for allegedly fictitious speaking gigs from the Mississippi Community Education Center, one of the nonprofits that gave contracts to DiBiase. (More fraud stories.)

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