Brett Favre must return nearly $1 million he received from federal welfare funds that should have gone to families in need, according to Mississippi State Auditor Shad White. The former Green Bay Packers quarterback is ordered to return $828,000 in 30 days. He is not facing any criminal charges, but if he doesn't return the money, he will face a civil lawsuit, as well as Favre Enterprises.
According to Anna Wolfe of Mississippi Today, Favre received a letter from the state auditor's office that said "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." The first state audit in May 2020 revealed that Favre received $1.1 million for speaking engagements which he didn't appear. White said Favre repaid $500,000 of that money with "a commitment to repay the remainder in installments over the next few months."
At that time, Favre explained what happened. "My agent is often approached by different products and brands for me to appear in one way or another," Favre wrote. "This request was no different, and I did numerous ads for Families First. I have never received monies for obligations I didn't meet. To reiterate Auditors White's statement, I was unaware that the money being dispersed was paid for out of funds not intended for that purpose, and because of that I am refunding the full amount back to Mississippi.
"I have spent my entire career helping children through Favre 4 Hope donating nearly $10 million to underserved and underprivileged children in Mississippi and Wisconsin. It has brought a ton of joy to my life, and I would certainly never do anything to take away from the children I have fought to help! I love Mississippi and I would never knowingly do anything to take away from those that need it most."
White said his office determined that John Davis, the former executive director of Human Services, authorized payments of more than $77 million in federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families funds to two nonprofits that either improperly disbursed or misspent portions of the money. Other notable figures who have reportedly received the funds are former WWE wrestler Ted DiBiase Sr. and his son, Ted DiBiase Jr., and former NFL player Marcus Dupree.