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Brett Favre repays Mississippi $600,000 in misspent welfare money

The former NFL quarterback could still be sued by the state’s attorney general if he does not pay another $228,000 in interest.

(CN) — Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre has repaid $600,000 in misspent welfare funds to the state of Mississippi but could still face civil liability if he does not repay the $228,000 that has accumulated in interest.

Favre, who lives in Mississippi, was one of 10 individuals who received demands earlier this month from State Auditor Shad White’s office after a fraud investigation two years ago uncovered tens of millions of dollars in misspending.

After a May 2020 audit, Favre began repaying the $1.1 million in federal welfare money that he received from a state nonprofit between December 2017 and June 2018 for multiple speeches where he did not show up. The money, which was paid to Favre Enterprises by the Mississippi Community Education Center, came through funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program.

TANF, commonly known as welfare, is a monthly cash assistance program for poor families with children under age 18, according to the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

The 2020 audit detailed how the state allowed millions of dollars in anti-poverty funds to be used for football tickets, religious concerts, lobbying and fitness programs for state lawmakers.

Favre, 52, faces no criminal charges and has maintained that he has never received any money for obligations that he did not meet. He initially paid $500,000 two days after the release of the 2020 audit and committed to repaying the remainder in installments over the next few months, according to White, the state auditor.

But Favre, a longtime Green Bay Packers quarterback who played 20 season in the NFL, did not make any more payments until the state auditor issued a demand Oct. 12. The remaining $600,000 was paid by check to the state auditor’s office on Monday, the office said Wednesday, but Favre still owes $228,000 in unpaid interest.

“This week Brett Favre repaid $600,000,” White said in a statement to the New York Times. “If Mr. Favre does not repay the full amount within 30 days of our demand, the attorney general will be responsible for enforcing the payment of the interest and has the option to file suit.”

White said at the time of the audit’s release that his office had seen “no record indicating Mr. Favre knew that TANF was the program that served as the source of the money he was paid.”

Favre said in a series of tweets last year that he was unaware of the source of the money and would be refunding the full amount back to the state. He also wrote that he has spent his entire career raising money for 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," he said.

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