Retired quarterback Brett Favre owes the state of Mississippi $828K in welfare money that he collected for speaking engagements he did not attend.
Mississippi State Auditor Shad White has given the hall of famer 30 days from Tuesday to repay the money or he will be slapped with a lawsuit, but has acknowledged that Farve would not face any criminal charges.
The Mississippi native was paid with funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families department to sponsor the Families First for Mississippi initiative that was spearheaded by then Gov. Phil Bryant and his wife. White claims that Favre cashed the checks, but didn’t bother to show up for the speeches.
“I did ads that ran for three years, was paid for it, no different than any other time that I’ve done endorsements for other people, and I went about my way,” Favre said in May 2020 of the allegations. “For [the auditor] to say I took $1.1 million and didn’t show up for speaking engagements is absolutely 100% not true.”
He also said that he did not know that the payment he accepted came out of the state’s welfare funds, but White doesn’t believe that’s the truth.
“These illegal expenditures and unlawful dispositions were made when you knew or had reason to know through the exercise of reasonable diligence that the expenditures were illegal and/or the dispositions were unlawful,” White wrote in a letter to Favre demanding repayment.
The former Green Bay Packer paid back $500K in 2020, and is now being asked to cough up the remaining $600K, balance along with $228,000 in interest.
Favre is one of fifteen individuals and organizations that were hit with letters demanding repayment for $77 million in misspent dollars from the Needy Families fund.
Retired WWE wrestler Ted DiBiase Jr. is on the hook for $3.9 million he was paid for motivational speaking, and his father, ex-wrestler Ted “The Million Dollar Man” DiBiase Sr., owes $722,299 that was granted to his Christian ministry.
Former Mississippi Department of Human Services director John Davis has been charged with embezzlement for authorizing the illegal spending, and must repay the state more than $96 million.