How they did it: Mississippi Today reporter reveals $77 million welfare misspending scheme

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Last April, the nonprofit newsroom Mississippi Today published its five-part series, The Backchannel, exposing new evidence of former Gov. Phil Bryant’s role in a welfare scandal involving $77 million in misspent funds, based primarily on an extraordinary trove of text messages obtained by investigative reporter Anna Wolfe.

Each story in the series explores “an aspect of Bryant’s entanglement with the welfare agency’s spending — whether the ties to his personal business dealings, his relationships with players in the scheme, patterns in his leadership, agency directives or nepotism,” Wolfe writes in the introductory article.

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