Brett Favre may be considered one of the National Football Leagues’ best players, but the former NFLer is in hot water over accepting more than a million dollars from Mississippi for speeches he never made. Now the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Feds are investigating.
Favre earned nearly $140 million as an NFL quarterback over two decades, as well as millions more in product endorsements.
In 2017 and in 2018, the state of Mississippi paid Favre $1.1 million out of federal welfare funds intended for needy families to make motivational speeches. Since Favre never gave the speeches, the state demanded the money back, with interest. While Favre did repay the fees, he did not cough up the $228,000 in the interest the auditor also demanded, NBC News reported.
Besides the payments to Favre, the auditor also discovered that $70 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare funds were paid. The money was also spread out to former WWE wrestler Ted DiBiase Jr who was ordered to repay the $3.9 million he allegedly received for serving as a motivational speaker, former college football star Marcus Dupree, and fitness trainer Paul LaCoste, according to the Bleacher Report.
Dupree and LaCoste were allegedly paid a combined $670,000, per NBC News. Another $5 million went to building a volleyball facility at the University of Southern Mississippi.
The state was given $70 million from the federal government. TANF is designed to provide financial assistance to those in need.
A Mississippi auditor said in March 2020 that the money would go to the Mississippi Community Education Center and Family Resource Center of North Mississippi. Instead, it went to people who did not need the money, including Favre, who made millions during his NFL career, TK reported.
The payments all point back to former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, investigators say. Bryant is accused of paying Favre $1.1 million in 2017 and 2018 to make motivational speeches, appear at promotional events and appear on the radio, the Associated Press reported
Favre hasn’t been accused of a crime or charged, but the FBI did question him. The investigation has been browsing for the last two and a half years.
Favre, who endorses former President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential elections, played in the NFL for 20 seasons, primarily with the Green Bay Packers.
Photo: NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre speaks with reporters, Oct. 17, 2018 in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) / Federal agents load a vehicle with evidence, Oct. 19, 2021, in New York. (AP John Minchillo)