Judge grants request to delay trial for mother, son charged in Mississippi welfare fraud scheme

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A federal judge granted a mother and son’s request to delay the trial in their federal fraud case. According to court documents, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves delayed the trial for Nancy and Zach New until at least July 2021.

The News were indicted on federal money laundering, wire fraud and ID theft charges in connection to a welfare fraud scheme in Mississippi. They’re accused of withholding at least $2 million in public school dollars for New Summit School, which is a school they operated.

The indictments accuse both of the Nancy New and Zachary New of conspiracy to commit wire fraud by saying they created and submitted documents to the Mississippi Department of Education to receive state money to pay teachers at New Summit School, but some of the people were no longer teachers at the school or had never been teachers there. The indictment says the company fraudulently obtained more than $2 million from the state from 2017 to 2020.

Mississippi law allows some public education money to be paid to private schools for students with special academic needs. New Summit School has offered services for students with dyslexia and autism.

The News were also indicted on charges of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, money laundering and engaging in monetary transactions with proceeds of specified unlawful activity. Conviction on all the charges would carry up to 220 years in prison.

Both mother and son are two of six defendants in the Mississippi welfare fraud scheme. The six were arrested by special agents from the State Auditor’s office in 2020. State Auditor Shad White said investigators believe at least $4 million in federal welfare money was stolen during the scheme.

When they appeared in court in March 2021, the News both pled not guilty to the charges against them. The two were released on an unsecured $10,000 bond. Under the conditions of the bond, they cannot leave Mississippi, they must turnover passports, they cannot possess firearms, and they must notify the court to any changes in their phone numbers or addresses.

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