Brett Favre facing lawsuit if he doesn't repay $828K in Mississippi welfare funds, state auditor says

The state of Mississippi still wants its money back from Brett Favre.

The former Green Bay Packers quarterback was one of several recipients of letters from the Mississippi auditor's office demanding repayment of misspent funds received from the federal government’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, according to Mississippi Today's Anna Wolfe.

Favre had reportedly received $1.1 million of those funds for appearances he didn't make. While Favre claimed he actually made those appearances, he admitted he didn't know the source of the money paid to him and pledged to return it.

Favre immediately paid back $500,000 and agreed to give the rest back in installments, but Mississippi said it was still waiting for that $600,000 a year later. Now, it has reportedly threatened Favre with a civil lawsuit if he doesn't pay $828,000, which represents the money owed plus some hefty interest on payments made in 2017 and 2018.

Part of the letter, from Mississippi Today:

“The sum demanded represents illegal expenditures of public funds made to you or to entities or combines for which you are legally obligated to pay and/or the unlawful dispositions of public property, including public funds, made with you or with entities or combines for which you are legally responsible to pay,” the letter reads. “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 TANF funds were allegedly paid through a state program known as Families First for Mississippi, described as a “family-stabilizing” initiative pushed by then-Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and his wife. Even if Favre made the appearances, it remains unclear how paying celebrities millions of dollars for ads and appearances was supposed to help the needy.

Amid a torrent of criticism last May for receiving welfare money while millions struggled financially during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Favre offered up a short explanation and emphasized his past charity work:

Favre's lack of payment is only one thread of a bizarre saga surrounding Mississippi's misuse of TANF funds under Bryant, and he is far from the only notable name who Mississippi is still waiting on for a check.

Per Mississippi Today, former WWE wrestler Ted DiBiase Jr. must return $3.9 million in funds he allegedly received for serving as a motivational speaker for Families First. His father and fellow ex-WWE wrestler Ted DiBiase Sr. must reportedly pay $722,299 in funds sent to his Christian ministry to help underprivileged teens. Former Oklahoma football star Marcus Dupree is facing a $789,534 demand for his Marcus Dupree Foundation.

None of that compares to what former Mississippi Department of Human Services director John Davis — currently awaiting trial for embezzlement charges — reportedly owes as he is apparently being asked to return $96.313 million for authorizing million in illegal TANF spending.