Former WWE developmental third generation talent Brett DiBiase has plead guilty to making fraudulent statements in what was called the largest public embezzlement scheme in Mississippi history.
WLBT reports that DiBiase, the son of WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase and younger brother to former WWE Superstar Ted DiBiase Jr., plead guilty today. He was originally arrested back in February and charged with conspiring with others to defraud the Mississippi Department of Human Services. His mugshot photo from the arrest can be seen above.
DiBiase was paid $48,000, acting as the business Restore2 LLC, using a series of fraudulent and false claims to receive payment. He's also accused of helping cover up these payments by falsifying documents, invoices, books, reports and ledgers. Investigators charged that former Mississippi DHS workers created invoices to pay DiBiase for teaching classes about drug abuse, but he did not teach those classes as he was being treated for opiate abuse at a luxury rehab facility in Malibu, California instead, a stay that was paid for with state welfare money. DiBiase was one of six arrests made back in February, all of which were part of more than $4 million in embezzled government money.
The district attorney's office noted today that DiBiase has agreed to pay back restitution for all of the money he received. Mississippi State Auditor Shad White issued the following statement on DiBiase's plea:
"My staff and I applaud the work of District Attorney Owens and his team for their work on this case. This felony plea represents another important step forward in achieving justice for the taxpayers and the other victims of this scheme."
Anne Wolfe of Mississippi Today reported that DiBiase plead guilty to making fraudulent statements. His conspiracy charge was dropped. DiBiase has also agreed to help the state in its remaining cases. His sentencing has been delayed. Regarding the restitution DiBiase has agreed to pay back, he made a payment of $5,000 today. Wolfe noted that the $5,000 won't go back into the welfare program because in Mississippi, restitution payments go first to pay off court costs before money is paid to victims.
Regarding potential jail time now that DiBiase's sentencing has been delayed, Wolfe was asked on Twitter if the former WWE talent will be incarcerated.
She responded, "The court delayed sentencing while DiBiase cooperates with the state on the other cases. Five remaining: former MDHS Dir. John Davis and employee Latimer Smith, Mississippi Community Education Center owners Nancy and Zach New, accountant Ann McGrew."
DiBiase was signed to a WWE developmental deal from 2008-2011, and made several enhancement talent appearances for the company. He has been retired for a number of years now, due to a series of knee problems. Brett previously held the FCW Tag Team Titles with Joe Hennig, now known as Curtis Axel. They were called The Forgotten Sons in FCW, which is now WWE NXT. Brett and Ted Jr. inducted their father into the WWE Hall of Fame back in 2010.
Stay tuned for more on the case. You can see Wolfe's related tweets below, along with photos of DiBiase in court:
BREAKING: Brett DiBiase is pleading guilty to making fraudulent statements. He is the former pro wrestler charged within what @MSStateAuditor calls the largest public embezzlement case in state history. His luxury drug rehab stay was allegedly paid for with #TANF welfare dollars. pic.twitter.com/pf1FtC2h4G— Anna Wolfe (@ayewolfe) December 17, 2020
I wish I could say that's $5,000 welfare dollars (out of up to $94 million in questionable purchases) returned today, but in Mississippi, restitution payments go first to pay off court costs before the money is paid to victims.— Anna Wolfe (@ayewolfe) December 17, 2020
The court delayed sentencing while DiBiase cooperates with the state on the other cases. Five remaining: former MDHS Dir. John Davis and employee Latimer Smith, Mississippi Community Education Center owners Nancy and Zach New, accountant Ann McGrew.— Anna Wolfe (@ayewolfe) December 17, 2020