Retired Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Brett Favre is in the middle of a government welfare scandal currently taking place in Mississippi.
According to the Associated Press, a nonprofit group that is caught up in an embezzlement scheme in the state used federal welfare money to pay NFL legend Favre $1.1 million for several speaking engagements, but Favre did not show up for the events, State Auditor Shad White said earlier this week.
White released an audit of spending by the Mississippi Department of Human Services and it showed that the former NFL player had been paid by Mississippi Community Education Center, a nonprofit group whose former leader has been indicted in a welfare embezzlement scheme.
The audit released this past Monday said the center paid Favre Enterprises $500,000 in December 2017 and $600,000 in June 2018, and he was supposed to make speeches for at least three events. The auditor’s report stated that “upon a cursory review of those dates, auditors were able to determine that the individual contracted did not speak nor was he present for those events.”
Favre, who lives in Mississippi, doesn’t face any criminal charges.
White said his office received $500,000 from Favre on Wednesday, plus a commitment that he will repay the remaining $600,000 in installments over the next few months.
“I want to applaud Mr. Favre for his good faith effort to make this right and make the taxpayers and TANF families whole,” White said in a written statement Wednesday. “To date, we have seen no records indicating Mr. Favre knew that TANF was the program that served as the source of the money he was paid.”
TANF stands for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday night, Favre released the following statement.
“My agent is often approached by different products or brands for me to appear in one way or another. This request was no different, and I did numerous ads for Family First,” Favre wrote.
“I have never received moneys for obligations I didn’t meet. To reiterate Auditors White’s statement, I was unaware that the money being dispensed was paid for out of funds not intended for that purpose, and because of that, I am refunding the full amount back to the state of Mississippi.
“I have spent my entire career helping children through Favre 4 Hope donating nearly $10 million to underserved and underprivileged children in Mississippi and Wisconsin.
“It has brought a ton of joy to my life, and I would certainly never do anything to take away from the children I have fought to help! I love Mississippi and I would never knowingly do anything to take away from those that need it most.”
White said the money being repaid by Favre will be sent to the Department of Human Services.