In a story first reported by The Clarion-Ledger, the state of Mississippi gave $2.1 million to “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, Sr.’s religious non-profit organization, Heart of David Ministries, according to state records.
According to the story, DiBiase, Sr’s non-profit had “meager funds” until his son, Brett DiBiase, was hired at the Mississippi Department of Human Services as the deputy administrator. Brett was hired in early 2017.
Last week, reports came out on Brett and the deputy director that hired him being indicted as part of one of the biggest embezzlement schemes in state history. The scheme reportedly involved welfare money.
The report states that Ted DiBiase, Sr’s Heart of Ministries received as much as $900,000 in one year from the Mississippi Department of Human Services. The ministry reported their 2017 grant money as being for “general church speaking engagements, religious conferences, school assemblies, and wrestling events.”
The money given to the ministry came from a federal fund for welfare. Brett was one of those people indicted but Ted has not been charged with anything as of this writing.
Payments totaling $2,126,739 million began in May 2017 until the current fiscal year. This was happening as the state denied more than 98 percent of applications from people requesting welfare.
There were six people indicted last week as part of a scheme that allegedly took $4.15 million in welfare money and the person in charge of state’s welfare distribution was John Davis, former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services. He is the man who hired Brett DiBiase in 2017.
The story also notes that the ministry does not appear to have filed any tax documents with the IRS for the past two years.
The ministry made small amounts per year until 2017. In 2003, for example, they pulled in just $5,000 in grants and that grew to more than $80,000 in 2016. In 2017, they pulled in $217,000 in welfare money. Brett DiBiase also earned $95,000 for the seven months he worked for the Mississippi Department of Human Services.
Heart of David Ministries received $271,000 in 2017 and they reported $60,000 spent on web design and maintenance, $30,000 for travel and $13,000 on advertising, with wrestling events included on the expenses. Ted DiBiase, Sr. was paid more than $80,000 as the president of the organization.
Following the first infusion of money in 2017, work began on DiBiase, Sr.’s “Price of Fame” documentary that got a limited theater release and digital release on Amazon Prime. According to the trailer, the film was made in association with Heart of David Ministries but the manager behind the film said the non-profit was not involved.
Ted DiBiase founded the Heart of David Ministries 20 years ago. The website for his non-profit does not give many details about what they do but it states that their central mission is “religious education & training.”
DiBiase, Jr. was not mentioned in the story. For what it’s worth, there was a “Where Are They Now?” feature on DiBiase, Jr by WWE.com in 2016. He said he was running a summer camp under the Heart of David Ministries umbrella.