Mississippi state Auditor Shad White has issued a statement demanding that former NFL star Brett Favre pay the state $828,000 in welfare funds within 30 days or face a civil lawsuit.
The auditor’s office sent out letters demanding repayment from Favre and 14 other individuals or groups for a total of $77 million in misspent welfare dollars, although there are no criminal allegations involved, Mississippi Today reported.
Favre, a Mississippi native, received $1.1 million in funds from two non-profits whose founder has since been indicted on state and federal charges for their alleged role in the largest embezzlement scheme in state history, according to Mississippi Free Press.
White said Favre received the money for speaking engagements that he did not attend for Families First For Mississippi, one of the non-profits involved in the alleged scheme.
“The sum demanded represents illegal expenditures of public funds made to you or to entities or combines for which you are legally obligated to pay and/or the unlawful dispositions of public property, including public funds, made with you or with entities or combines for which you are legally responsible to pay,” the letter from the auditor reads.
“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.”
Favre had already vowed to voluntarily return the money, saying he did not know it came from a federal grant called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Soon after the initial news broke, Favre gave $500,000 to the auditor’s office, but did not pay the remaining $600,000.
White announced that Mississippi Department of Human Services former executive director John Davis is currently awaiting trial on embezzlement charges connected to the scheme, CBS Sports reported.
Brian Freeman ✉
Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.
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