Mississippi State auditor Shad White is demanding for Brett Favre to return $828,000 in "illegally spent welfare funds" that he promised to pay back or he could face civil legal action.
The Hall of Fame quarterback received more than $1 million in funds from nonprofits, whose founder has since been indicted on state and federal charges for their alleged role in a large-scale embezzlement scheme, according to the Mississippi Free Press.
White said in a statement that Favre accepted money for speaking engagements he never fulfilled for Families First for Mississippi.
When the news broke in May 2020, Favre paid a portion of what was owed, which led White to say the former NFL great was acting in "good faith" and he had “seen no records indicating Mr. Favre knew that [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] was the program that served as the source of the money he was paid.”
However, in an Oct. 12, 2021, statement, White said Favre, along with others who have still not returned the funds, has 30 days to pay what's owed or face civil legal action. In total, White is trying to recoup more than $77 million of the misspent TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) money and sent letters to those who allegedly have been inappropriately paid in the scandal.
Mississippi Today’s Anna Wolfe reported that the letter Favre received from White said the “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 is not the only former athlete who owes misspent money in this case. Ted DiBiase Sr., the former WWE wrestler known as the “Million Dollar Man,” must repay $722,299, which he received through his Heart of David Ministries. One of his sons, former wrestler Ted DiBiase, Jr., owes $3.903 million while his other retired WWE wrestler son, Brett DiBiase, owes $225,950.
"It’s time for the taxpayers to attempt to recover what we lost," White said.
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