Rep. Bennie Thompson sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar requesting that the illegal use of Mississippi TANF funds cited in the Mississippi State Auditor’s report to be investigated as a criminal enterprise.

“After years of suspicion on how TANF dollars were being misspent, the public has been made aware by recent audit reports.  It is devastating to know that thousands of intended recipients, mainly in my district, are suffering at the hands of a selfish few. This matter is beyond the bounds of troubling, which has led to my submission of this letter asking for a federal investigation by HHS into this criminal enterprise of Mississippi’s illegal use of federal funds.

The state auditor’s report revealed a list of misuse of funding intended for the needy in Mississippi that keeps growing longer.  This criminal enterprise threatens the existence of TANF funds in Mississippi and could cause for the program to be cut.

Remarkably, certain individuals whose names have been identified in the audit have been granted the ability to repay the funds that were used for their benefit. Either this is an illegal act or it is not. The consequences for being part of such a scheme should translate equally for all parties involved. This criminal enterprise robbery of TANF funds intended for the poor must be investigated and the guilty must be prosecuted and forced to pay back every cent.”

Second Formal Complaint – Audit of TANF Funding by the Mississippi Department of Human Services

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Release from Congressman Bennie Thompson.