Brett Favre, an NFL legend that played for 20 seasons, received honors as a three-time MVP, three-time all-pro, and 11-time Pro Bowler. In 2016, he became a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and to this day, he stands as one of the best quarterbacks of all time. But heroes fall, and Favre is now facing heat for his involvement in Mississippi’s welfare scandal.
The welfare scandal in question is the one that saw millions meant for poor families going into the pockets of wealthy celebs, including Favre. While there are multiple prosecutors still going over facts as things proceed, Brett Favre is already under fire because of texts between him, nonprofit leader Nancy New, and former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant.
The texts revealed communication between the aforementioned parties about securing funding for an $8 million volleyball stadium. Over the course of things, Nancy New routed $5 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to The University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation for the stadium.
New also sent $1.1 million to Favre for use on the project, which was sent as payment for motivational speeches that he never delivered. In all, $6.1 million meant for families in need ended up going to Favre and the stadium.
While Nancy New and her son pled guilty to multiple charges, a civil suit involving Favre is ongoing. And Favre is not the only one involved. The suit is part of efforts to recover tens of millions in funding that was inappropriately spent, which involves dozens of parties.
When the first indictments came down in the TANF welfare-fraud scandal in 2020, Favre denied knowing where the $1.1 million payment originated. However, texts included in the filing reveal otherwise.
“If you were to pay me is there anyway [sic] the media can find out where it came from and how much?” Favre asked Nancy New in 2017, revealing his concern.
Favre had reason to be concerned since state law does not allow welfare funds to be used for “brick and mortar” construction projects. But those involved found a workaround using a disguised sublease scheme, and those in need suffered because of it.
That year, only 1.42% of families who applied for assistance through TANF received approval. That is only 167 out of 11,700, with those approved receiving $170 in assistance per month as a family of three. Moreover, a requirement for eligibility is being pregnant or the caregiver to a child under the age of 18.
Although Brett Favre denied knowing, the evidence says otherwise. He allowed it to happen, while New used her nonprofit to funnel the funds his way. As for the former governor, Phil Bryant, he knew and participated in the scheme. Part of his role included guiding Favre and New in writing a funding proposal that would be accepted by the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS).
Bryant also cooperated with Favre in relation to his experimental drug project while in office. Once again, texts show correspondence between the two, with Favre talking to Bryant about taxpayer funds going to the project. Moreover, texts reveal what appears to be Bryant ready to accept stock in the startup involved, Prevacus, after he left office as governor.