The FBI Is Investigating Why The State Of Mississippi Funneled Millions In Welfare Money To NFL Legend Brett Favre

It was only a matter of time before more scandal came for Brett Favre. The pro football Hall of Famer and frequent retiree — who officially retired (for presumably the last time) in 2011 has always been one of the NFL’s golden boys. But now the longtime Green Bay Packer, who finished up his career with the Minnesota Vikings, is at the center of an FBI investigation.

As NBC News reports, the FBI is investigating why Favre — who has an estimated net worth of about $100 million — was paid $1.1 million by the state of Mississippi in both 2017 and 2018 to make a set of motivational speeches, which never happened, and why this money was paid to the football star out of the struggling state’s welfare funds earmarked for the needy.

As Ken Dilanian and Laura Strickler write for NBC News:

Favre has repaid the fees, although not the $228,000 in interest the auditor also demanded. But the revelation by the auditor that $70 million in TANF welfare funds was doled out to a multimillionaire athlete, a professional wrestler, a horse farm, and a volleyball complex are at the heart of a scandal that has rocked the nation’s poorest state, sparking parallel state and federal criminal investigations that have led to charges and guilty pleas involving some of the key players.

Favre hasn’t been accused of a crime or charged, and he declined an interview. His lawyer, Bud Holmes, said he did nothing wrong and never understood he was paid with money intended to help poor children. Holmes acknowledged that the FBI had questioned Favre in the case, a fact that hasn’t previously been reported.

While rumblings of these financial shenanigans first popped up more than two years ago, NBC News reports that they gained renewed attention in July, when a lawyer who was hired specifically to get back some of the misspent money was fired shortly after issuing a subpoena to obtain additional information on the financial dealings between Favre and former governor Phil Bryant.

On October 29, 2021, Favre took to Twitter to fire off a series of tweets defending his position in the case, claiming that he had no idea where the money had come from:

Text messages obtained and verified earlier this year by Mississippi Today seemed to indicate that, as NBC News writes, “Favre sought a $3.2 million grant for a drug company in which he was a shareholder and a $5 million award that built a volleyball arena at the University of Southern Mississippi, where his daughter played the sport and where he played football.”

In additional texts, Favre talked about gifting Bryant with shares in Prevacus, a drug company developing treatments to lessen the effects of concussions. “Don’t know if legal or not but we need cut him in,” Favre texted in November 2018. A few days later, the quarterback texted again, noting, “Also if legal I’ll give some of my shares to the Governor.”

Favre’s lawyers did not respond to NBC News for comment.

(Via NBC News)