Mississippi auditor orders Brett Favre to repay $828,000 for 'illegal' welfare funds or face lawsuit
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Legendary Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre must repay $828,000 that he received from welfare funds that were meant for families in need, according to a report.
Mississippi State Auditor Shad White said Tuesday that Favre is not facing any criminal charges but will be hit with a lawsuit if the funds are not returned within 30 days. White said the Hall of Fame quarterback received $1.1 million in welfare funds for multiple speeches for which he did not show up.
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The initial allegations of misspending came to light in early 2020 when former Mississippi Department of Human Services Executive Director John Davis and five other people were indicted in one of the state's largest public corruption cases, which the auditor characterized then as "a sprawling conspiracy."
At the time, the state said Favre paid back $500,000 but is now being asked to repay the remaining $600,000 and $228,000 in interest.
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Favre defended himself in May 2020, saying he believed he was being paid for a role in public service announcements and advertisements that ran for years in Mississippi.
"I did ads that ran for three years, was paid for it, no different than any other time that I’ve done endorsements for other people, and I went about my way," Favre said. "For [the auditor] to say I took $1.1 million and didn’t show up for speaking engagements is absolutely 100% not true."
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Favre added that he wasn't aware the money he was receiving came from welfare funds. But according to a letter from the state, obtained by Mississippi Today, that’s not the case.
"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," the letter stated.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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