5 plead not guilty in welfare fraud case in Mississippi

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Trial dates have been set for the former head of Mississippi’s welfare agency and some other people. They are charged with misusing money that was intended to help needy people in the nation’s poorest state.

John Davis is former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services. He has pleaded not guilty, and his trial is set to start June 1.

State Auditor Shad White announced Feb. 5 that Davis and the others had been indicted on state criminal charges in a “sprawling conspiracy.” White said investigators believe at least $4 million in federal welfare money was stolen.

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