Mississippi auditor: Brett Favre owes nearly $1 million in welfare money

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NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre must return $828,000 he received from federal welfare funds that should have gone to needy families, according to a statement from Mississippi State auditor Shad White. 

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White said his office previously determined that John Davis, the former executive director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, authorized payments of more than $77 million in federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families funds to two nonprofits that either misspent or improperly disbursed portions of that money. Favre apparently accepted $1.1 million in funds and accepted the money for speaking engagements he never attended for Families First for Mississippi, one of the non-profits involved in the alleged scheme. 

The first state audit revealed in May 2020 that Favre received $1.1 million for speaking engagements in which he did not appear. White said then that Favre repaid $500,000 of that money with “a commitment to repay the remainder in installments over the next few months.” 

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However, White clarified in his statement that Favre and an employee of his business, Favre Enterprises, needed to repay the $600,000 still owed on the balance plus $228,000 in interest. Favre does not currently face criminal charges, but White said Favre and others who received the misspent funds — a list that includes former WWE wrestler Ted DiBiase Sr. and his son, Ted DiBiase Jr., and former NFL player Marcus Dupree — will face civil charges if they do not repay the money within 30 days. 

On Tuesday, Mississippi Today reported that Favre received a letter from White that said the “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.”

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