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Favre Must Pay $825K Within 30 Days in Illegal Welfare Case

Miss. state auditor says ex-NFL star faces a lawsuit if he doesn't return TANF funds
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2021 3:33 AM CUT
Updated Oct 13, 2021 12:32 PM CUT

(Newser) Update: It's pay-up time for Brett Favre, unless he wants to face a civil lawsuit. That was the warning Tuesday from Mississippi State Auditor Shad White, who said in a statement that the former NFL star still owes $828,000 in illegal welfare funds and interest, per the Mississippi Free Press. All recipients of misspent funds from the state's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, including Favre and Favre Enterprises, must pay the money back within 30 days or risk being sued. "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," a letter from White to Favre said, per Mississippi Today. Fourteen other groups or individuals got similar letters, asking for a total of $77 million back. Our original story from May 13 follows:

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Brett Favre still hasn't repaid the state of Mississippi $600,000 in welfare money he received for speeches he never gave. The former NFL quarterback promised to return $1.1 million last year after state auditors said funds earmarked for needy families had been paid to his company, Favre Enterprises, in 2017 and 2018 for speeches that were never delivered, the Clarion-Ledger reports. Favre repaid $500,000 days after the auditor's report, but Logan Reeves, a spokesman for Mississippi Auditor Shad White, tells the AP that they haven't heard from Favre since and there was no formal agreement, or legal obligation, for him to repay the funds.

"After the initial media dustup, he stroked a check for $500 grand and gave a commitment, a voluntary commitment, to repay the rest in the coming months," Reeves says. "And then, that didn’t happen." The money Favre received was part of $94 million in questionable spending connected to the state's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program found in last year's audit. The money went to his company via a nonprofit whose former leader was indicted in an alleged embezzlement scheme last year, along with the former head of the state’s welfare agency. Favre said last year that he didn't know the money had come from welfare funds, Mississippi Today reports. "I love Mississippi and I would never knowingly do anything to take away from those that need it most." he tweeted. (Read more Brett Favre stories.)

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