/Sports legend’s Madison County horse ranch being paid for by nonprofit at center of welfare embezzlement firestorm

Sports legend’s Madison County horse ranch being paid for by nonprofit at center of welfare embezzlement firestorm

Some children in Mississippi were able to have a time with an 80s-era running back. Marcus Dupree needed to pay the mortgage on his Madison County ranch of 15 acres. It also included a five-bedroom home. Two nonprofits managed the Mississippi Department of Human Services initiative Families First for Mississippi. The state decided to use welfare money to emphasize fatherhood and parenthood, rather than providing assistance to families. Dupree was dubbed “the greatest that never was” by ESPN and hired by the nonprofits to mentor Mississippi children. Dupree, a highly sought-after high school recruit, was eventually injured by an agent. This ended his professional career as it started. Dupree, a long-forgotten 18-wheeler truck driver, is featured in the ESPN documentary “30 for 30″. Dupree has used his celebrity status to help form and promote local organizations such as the Marcus Dupree Foundation, which he also founded in 2010. Its stated mission is to assist underprivileged children. The Dupree foundation bought a Flora residence with five bedrooms and 4,114 square feet in April 2018, less than one year after Dupree partnered with Families First, a welfare-funded program. For tax purposes, the county valued the property at $395,000. The foundation’s initial mortgage was $684,000. Zillow is a popular real-estate website that estimates the property’s worth at almost $900,000. Mississippi Community Education Center, one of Families First’s nonprofits, signed a six-year lease agreement to lease the ranch for $9,000. The bank used the rental payments as collateral to secure the loan. It was basically a promise to pay the mortgage over the term of the agreement. Dupree was also paid a minimum of $100,000 as a payroll employee. The Mississippi Community Education Center, a nonprofit founded by Nancy New (a prominent private education contractor), is the subject of wide-ranging public embezzlement accusations that rocked the state welfare division in February. Dupree was only one of many former athletes that the nonprofit used welfare money to benefit. It’s clear to all that DHS and grantees didn’t pay attention to the rules regarding welfare money spending. They treated this money as if it were their own slush funds,” Shad White, the State Auditor, said to Mississippi Today. This is not to say that every beneficiary of funds knew they were getting welfare money. Some people probably didn’t know. The people who handed out the money knew.” In February, agents from White’s office arrested New and Zach New, her son, John Davis, former head of Mississippi Department of Human Services. They were part of what the state called the largest public embezzlement program in its history. All six News were accused of taking millions of federal funds intended for the poor. They have all pleaded not guilty. Dupree and his foundation were not involved in the arrests. White stated that he knew about Dupree’s property, but couldn’t comment further as the FBI is still investigating. Eric J. Shelton/Mississippi Today Report For America. The ranch deal is similar to the 2017 lease agreement New signed, which paid $5 million to Southern Miss Athletic Foundation. New was a board member of the foundation. This money was used to construct a new volleyball facility. Mississippi Today reported this in February. Attached to the deed at the county land records office is the rent agreement for Dupree’s property. It states that Mississippi Community Education Center would continue to obtain the bank loan through March. 31 March 2024, unless termination is filed. The deed record does not contain any termination. The Dupree foundation’s website is no longer active and does not appear have filed the necessary financial forms. No records are found on the IRS tax exempt organization search engine nor on any other databases Mississippi Today has checked. Dupree refused to speak with reporters when he was approached at his property by reporters on Wednesday afternoon. “I was an employee. “That’s all that I can say,” Dupree told Mississippi Today, before telling the reporters to go. Dupree stood next to a red-gas canister and a pile of burning brush that had been left behind by a fallen tree. It is unclear what Human Services or New, a nonprofit funded mostly by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families grant (TANF), was doing with the rental property. Cassandra Williams, a representative of the nonprofit, did not respond to several phone calls regarding this story. The email she sent did not address any questions regarding the lease at the ranch, or the work of the nonprofit with the Dupree foundation. The email stated that the current staff at MCEC could not address questions that aren’t related to MCEC or current MCEC programming. TANF, a federal block grant, is available to states. States have broad authority to spend it as they please, provided they meet the following four objectives: Provide cash assistance to low-income families, promote employment and prevent out-of wedlock pregnancies. The state spent $40 million more on “Fatherhood & Two Parent Family Formation” in 2018 than any other category such as work training and supports. It only spent $7 million on cash assistance to poor families. It spent just $7 million on cash assistance for poor families. One July post contains photos of eight children playing on the property with the caption, “I’m so blessed and thankful that I can allow kids to experience things at the Double Deuce Stables that they may not experience..Parenthood and Fatherhood #familiesfirstforms and The Marcus Dupree Foundation.” A post the same month says Dupree “gave another horse away to a kid who loves horses.” Another from May shows a photo of a boy riding a horse, the property’s large pond in the background. Dupree stated that he would work with the boy to correct his foot placement when he returns. These posts provide the only information publicly available about the Families First-related services that he was providing on the property. “Double Deuce Stables has very little internet presence in Mississippi. Before Families First shut down, his foundation was not listed on the website’s list of subcontract partners. Danny Blanton, spokesperson for Human Services, stated that the department did not have any information regarding Dupree’s foundation and programs on its property. “We cannot find anything. This just shows how shady MCEC was in reporting. He stated that they had withheld the information. This is contradicted by the statement made by the non-profit. It stated that MCEC did not provide funding or support for a specific program, service, or project. This was contrary to what the nonprofit said. Clarion Ledger revealed that Mississippi Community Education Center paid Dupree almost $105,000 in nine-month period. These ledgers, which they obtained, show how New’s non-profit spent $14 million. Many of these purchases did not help Mississippians. According to the records, the nonprofit also bought 100 DVDs of Dupree’s ESPN documentary as “give-aways” in excess of $1,000. Dupree is a prolific Facebook poster who has used the hashtag or cited “Families First”, in approximately four dozen posts since 2017. Dupree posted a video last June showing him walking through the Mississippi Community Education Center’s main offices, being followed by cameras from the local television station. New tells the camera, “We love Marcus; He’s doing an amazing job.” Families First for Mississippi refers to services that have been provided by New’s non-profit and the Family Resource Center of Northeast Mississippi in partnership over the past few years. Since 2016, Human Services has funneled millions of welfare dollars to these groups. Blanton stated that Dupree was on each nonprofit’s payroll. According to local news reports and social media posts, Dupree often delivers talks to schools in the state as part of his work with taxpayer-funded nonprofits. “These kids don’t respect their teachers. They don’t respect their parents. He said this after a Bogue Chitto Elementary School assembly. The video was uploaded to YouTube on October 2017. A second video that Dupree posted in September 2019 shows Madison-Ridgeland Academy students viewing a clip from Dupree’s “30 for 30,” documentary, which highlights the best plays of the athlete. Dupree will speak after the documentary is over. “I work for Families First. He said that we talk about making the right decisions. “We are supposed to listen and respect our parents. Our teachers are to be listened to. Older people are to be listened to. You should say, “Yes sir” and “No sir.” The lender for Marcus Dupree Foundation’s ranch is The Maywood Branch at the State Bank & Trust Company. Mississippi Today received several calls from the bank’s loan officer regarding the property, but he did not return many of our calls. According to tax records, the Dupree Foundation owes $5,600 in property taxes. The local homeowner’s association also filed a lien on his property for unpaid fees. Kimberly Funchess was Dupree’s wife, according to Mississippi Today. In 2010, the Marcus Dupree Foundation was established as a non-profit business by the Secretary of State. It is currently in good standing but it does not have any listed officers. Funchess was removed as registered agent in June. Marcus Dupree Foundation has filed separate charity filings. Its mission states that it “provides exposure to athletics, equestrian activities and camps for underprivileged kids by conducting educational programs to emphasize wellness and health.” This filing has since expired. The foundation website is no longer available. According to a Crystal Springs event listing, and deleted Facebook posts, Mississippi Community Education Center also employed Funchess. Mississippi Today was told by Dupree that anyone wishing to reach him must contact Funchess. After answering calls at her public number, the woman threatened to report Dupree for harassment and hang up. Someone posing as Dow Yoder, an attorney, texted the Mississippi Today reporter via an icloud account to inform him that Dupree had requested that he contact the reporter about this story. “The mortgage is paid from earned income. Mr. Dupree receives income from different sources each year. Mr. Dupree worked as a W-2 employee at the Family Resource Center and MCEC. He texted that it was false and misleading to say that the mortgage is paid for by MCEC. When asked by telephone if he would talk about the story and the lease agreement, the person replied with crude messages about hemp and bodily functions. He did not return calls to his office. Families First for Mississippi, as well as many of the Mississippi Community Education Center’s operations, have been shut down. Dupree, however, is still busy. He boasts about Boomer Kush, a cannabis business, and a film project.