Brett Favre Questioned by FBI Over Mississippi Welfare Money, Lawyer Says

Erin WalshSeptember 2, 2022

MADISON, WISCONSIN - JUNE 11: Former NFL player Brett Favre walks off the 10th tee box during the Celebrity Foursome at the second round of the American Family Insurance Championship at University Ridge Golf Club on June 11, 2022 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Brett Favre's lawyer, Bud Holmes, says his client was questioned by the FBI in a Mississippi welfare fraud case that has followed him for more than two years, according to Ken Dilanian and Laura Strickler of NBC News.

Former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant is accused of paying Favre $1.1 million in 2017 and 2018 to make motivational speeches, appear at promotional events and appear on the radio, per the Associated Press.

The state was given $70 million from the federal government through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which is designed to provide financial assistance to those in need.

A Mississippi auditor said in March 2020 that the money went to the Mississippi Community Education Center and Family Resource Center of North Mississippi. Instead, it went to people who did not need the money, including Favre, who made millions during his NFL career.

The money was also spread out to former WWE wrestler Ted DiBiase Jr., who was ordered to repay the $3.9 million he allegedly received for serving as a motivational speaker, former college football star Marcus Dupree and fitness trainer Paul LaCoste.

Dupree and LaCoste were allegedly paid a combined $670,000, per NBC News. Another $5 million went to building a volleyball facility at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The misspending of funds is considered Mississippi's "largest public corruption case in the past two decades," according to the state auditor (h/t the Associated Press).

Favre was ordered to repay the welfare money he received for events that he allegedly did not show up for in addition to $228,000 in interest. He has paid back the $1.1 million but has not repaid the interest.

Favre is not facing any criminal charges, and he has said he did not know the money he received came from welfare funds. He has also denied being paid for events he did not attend.

The 52-year-old spent most of his 20-year NFL career with the Green Bay Packers. He also played for the Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings. The Hall of Famer won a Super Bowl, was an 11-time Pro Bowler, a three-time All-Pro and three-time MVP.