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Brett Favre Demands He Be Dismissed From $24 Million Mississippi Welfare Fraud Lawsuit, Lawyer Denies Ex-NFL Star Had Control Over Funds

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Nov. 29 2022, Published 4:08 p.m. ET

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NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre filed a motion to have himself dismissed from a $24-million lawsuit brought by the state of Mississippi's welfare agency, over an alleged scheme that misappropriated $77 million, has learned.

Favre, 53, has not been charged in connection to the scheme, however, the former NFL star has been named in the lawsuit for receiving over a million in welfare funds for alleged speaking engagements.

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The state of Mississippi filed the lawsuit in May 2022 and claimed the defendants "squandered" more than $20 million from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, an anti-poverty program.

Favre's connection to the scandal came to light after text messages surfaced that showed him communicating with former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. The two were seen heard discussing $5 million in financial assistance to build a new state-of-the-art athletic complex at his alma mater. Favre's daughter is a member of the volleyball team.

Favre allegedly also received $1.1 million of the anti-poverty program funds for speaking engagements.

The former quarterback repaid the $1.1 million, however, Mississippi state auditor, Shad White, said that Favre has yet to pay the $228,000 interest.

Favre's attorney, Eric D. Herschmann, filed papers at Hinds County Courthouse on Monday, November 28, which sought to remove him from the state lawsuit.

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The attorney's filings stated that the lawsuit, "groundlessly and irresponsibly seeks to blame Favre for its own grossly improper and unlawful handling of welfare funds and its own failure to properly monitor and audit."

Herschmann's filing went on to insinuate Favre was named in the state's lawsuit to garner attention from the media.

"Including Favre in this lawsuit has had the intended effect - it has attracted national media attention to this case," the court document read.

Favre's lawyer suggested that the lawsuit should focus on the state's welfare agency, "which in fact is responsible for allowing this scandal to occur."

Favre is just one of 38 defendants in total named in the lawsuit.

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Favre is not facing criminal charges.

Through the lawsuit, the state of Mississippi is seeking to recoup $24 of the estimated $77 million in welfare funds connected to the state's largest public corruption case on record.

Favre claimed that the $1.1 million he received was for speaking fees for the Mississippi Community Education Center, which is a nonprofit group. The nonprofit group used the anti-poverty program's funds, which were approved by the Department of Human Services.

However, an auditor said Favre did not show up for the speeches in question but was still paid. The ex-NFL star said he had filmed commercials for the nonprofit which was why he was paid the money.

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Nancy New, the director of the Mississippi Community Education Center, pleaded guilty in April 2022 to charges of misspending the welfare funds. Nancy's son, Zachary New, also pleaded guilty to the same charges. Zachary helped fun the center alongside his mother.



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