Sports

Brett Favre knew what he was getting into with $1.1M scheme, Mississippi claims

Tick tock, Brett.

Tick tock, Brett.
Image: Getty Images

Brett Favre’s most famous work on the football field came when the clock was running down, so maybe that’s the motivation the Hall of Fame quarterback needs to repay the state of Mississippi the money he promised to repay after Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds were funneled to him for a non-profit’s public service announcement and no-show speaking engagements.

Mississippi state auditor Shad White released a list on Tuesday of demands for repayment of $77 million of illegally spent funds after an outside forensic audit of what happened to the money that was supposed to help kids in the poorest state in America.

The amount due to be repaid is $96.3 million, thanks to interest of 1% per month, as dictated by Mississippi law. That’s why Favre now finds himself up against the clock to repay his share of the illegally distributed money.

Favre, who received $1.1 million in the Mississippi boondoggle, never was seen as liable for any criminal activity in the state’s probe, although the state’s letter to the Ol’ Gunslinger, obtained by Deadspin, makes it clear that he’s hardly a wide-eyed innocent in all this.

“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,” says the letter from White to Favre and Robert Culumber, Favre’s business partner and one of the directors of Favre’s own nonprofit, Favre 4 Hope.

“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.”

Whatever diligence or lack thereof Favre did at the time he got the money, it certainly was immoral for him to take seven figures to do a radio spot for Families First For Mississippi. While Favre may have believed that he fulfilled the terms of a contract, there’s been plenty of time since it became clear that this whole thing was a mess, and he promised to pay the money back to the state last year, starting with a half-million bucks that he did fork over in May of 2020.

Had Favre followed through on his commitment to pay back the remaining $600,000, he would be done with this mess. Instead, Favre is now in receipt of a letter from White’s office demanding $828,000 — $600,000 principal, plus $228,000 of interest, calculated at 1% per month from July 30, 2018.

It’s not just another interest charge that Favre is now up against if he doesn’t pay up quickly. The state’s letter to Favre, makes clear: “If you fail to pay this demand in full within thirty (30) days, I must perform my duty, pursuant to Miss. Code §7-7-211, to institute suit against you, and the Attorney General of Mississippi shall file the necessary civil lawsuit in the proper court. Please be aware that after thirty (30) days interest will again begin accruing at one percent (1%) per month until the demand is paid in full.”

Favre has had plenty of time to make things right with his home state, but he’s been very busy doing things like flouting mask rules while working for NFL Films, giving Donald Trump a last-minute endorsement, and yukking it up with Tucker Carlson about the health benefits of cheese. Maybe that last $600,000 just slipped his mind because he’s been so busy. Well, now it’s $828,000, and the clock is ticking to repay it.

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