Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre must return $828,000 that he received from welfare funds, according to a statement from Mississippi State Auditor Shad White. The funds were supposed to go to families in need. Favre received a total of $1.1 million in funds from two non-profit organizations, whose owners have been indicted on federal and state charges concerning their alleged role in the largest embezzlement scheme in Mississippi history.
Favre isn’t facing any criminal charges for his involvement, but if he doesn’t repay the money within 30 days he will face a civil lawsuit, as will Favre Enterprises. White announced that Mississippi Department of Human Services former executive director John Davis isn’t so lucky, as he is currently awaiting trial on embezzlement charges related to the scheme.
According to Mississippi Today’s Anna Wolfe, 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 former Green Bay Packers quarterback accepted the funds for speaking engagements for Families First For Mississippi, which is one of the largest non-profit organizations involved in the scheme. However, Favre never spoke in front of the foundation.
Favre has maintained that he was unaware the funds were given illegally when he accepted them.
In May 2020, an auditor announced that Favre had returned some of the funds, which is why he owes $828,000 and not the original $1.1 million. Favre received $500,000 in December 2017 and $600,000 in June 2018.