Mississippi Department of Human Services sues Brett Favre, others over welfare misspending

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7 baffling things about Mississippi’s welfare fraud scandal case


It’s now been three years and counting since investigations began into the largest public fraud case in Mississippi history, a case that involves powerful public officials, former pro football stars and pro wrestlers, and tens of millions of dollars. And to date, authorities have provided scant information on those investigations, and judges have tried to stifle those involved. Most public information about the case has come from investigation and reporting by Mississippi Today, often to the chagrin of state officials. One defendant in the case recently filed a subpoena for Bryant’s communication and records involving the volleyball stadium, and has claimed Bryant directed her to spend welfare dollars, including to pay former NFL star Brett Favre $1.1 million in welfare money for speeches he allegedly never gave.

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Mississippi Is Fumbling Its Way through A Million-Dollar Welfare Scandal


Being our semi-regular weekly survey of what’s goin’ down in the several states where, as we know, the real work of governmentin’ gets done, and it’s too hot to sleep and time is runnin’ away. We begin in Mississippi, where various grifters and rounders have found themselves shipwrecked on a volleyball court. Someone keeps spiking the ball on influential Mississippians. From Mississippi Today:

“We have no confidence that the state will follow through with its subpoena or pursue the evidence wherever it leads,” said Gerry Bufkin, the attorney for [Nancy] New and the nonprofit Mississippi Community Education Center. “We’re going to find the truth, even if we have to drag it kicking and screaming into the light.” Bufkin’s subpoena asks [former Mississippi Gov. Phil] Bryant to produce any of his communication surrounding the USM volleyball stadium and efforts to fund it. This marks the first known time the former governor, who oversaw the welfare agency while the misspending occurred, has been compelled to provide documents related to his involvement in the scheme.

The scheme in question involves $24 million in misspent federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funding that the state allegedly plowed into a number of projects having nothing to do with needy families, including a new volleyball arena at the University of Southern Mississippi, allegedly at the request of noted USM alumnus Brett Favre.

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‘A whitewash’: Emails show MDHS pushed to hamstring probe into welfare misspending


The independent audit serving as the guide in the state’s lawsuit to recoup millions in stolen or misspent welfare funds was “severely limited” in scope — a major public concern as the welfare fraud investigation continues. Emails obtained by Mississippi Today show Gov. Tate Reeves’ administration pushed to limit the audit and keep law enforcement officials out of the mix.

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CeeJay

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Reddit AMA recap: Inside Mississippi’s welfare scandal investigation with Anna Wolfe


Q: Just how involved/guilty is Brett Favre in this?...A: Brett Favre was the inspiration behind at least $8.25 million in TANF spending (volleyball, $5M, Prevacus/PreSolMD, $2.15M, himself, $1.1M). And he knew these were grant funds, his texts show.

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Brett Favre: how a scandal in Mississippi tarnished an NFL hero


The former Green Bay quarterback won hearts as an ironman gunslinger. But a court case in his home state has created unwanted publicity


The Green Bay Packers open their preseason schedule against the San Francisco 49ers on Friday night. Matt LaFleur’s team are among the favourites for the Super Bowl and their veteran quarterback is also aiming for a rare individual triumph. Aaron Rodgers was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 2020 and 2021, and sealing the accolade again after a season during which he’ll turn 39 would be a stunning achievement for the Packers star. Only one player has won the award three times in succession: his predecessor at Lambeau Field, Brett Favre. The 52-year-old retired in 2011, his status as one of the all-time great quarterbacks beyond dispute. Representing the Packers from 1992 to 2007, he is, like Rodgers, a Super Bowl Champion.

Even an allegation that he sent explicit photos to a female sideline reporter - an NFL investigation said there was not enough evidence to establish Favre’s guilt - failed to seriously dent his popularity. Now Favre is linked to a complex and wide-ranging welfare fraud scandal in his home state of Mississippi that has engulfed politicians, state officials and former wrestlers. And the fact that those who have suffered are the working-class people many saw him as representing could cause lasting damage to his status as an NFL folk hero.


Among those named by the auditor were Favre and three members of the DiBiase wrestling family: Ted DiBiase Sr – who wrestled in the WWF as The Million Dollar Man, and then founded a Christian ministry which allegedly received $1.7m in TANF funds – and his son Brett, another one-time wrestler. Brett DiBiase allegedly was paid $48,000 to provide education sessions on drug abuse but did not teach the classes, instead heading for treatment at a luxury rehab centre in Malibu. In December 2020, Brett DiBiase plead guilty to making fraudulent statements.


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Mississippi changes legal team to handle welfare fraud case


The Mississippi Department of Human Services is hiring a different law firm to try to recover millions of dollars in welfare money that was misspent in the state’s largest public corruption case in decades​


The state Personnel Board on Thursday approved a contract for the department to hire the Jones Walker firm, which has about 370 attorneys in multiple states, the department said in a news release. Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, a Republican, also approved the contract for the civil litigation.The move comes weeks after Department of Human Services leaders chose not to renew a contract with Brad Pigott of Jackson, an attorney in solo private practice who had been the U.S. attorney for southern Mississippi when Democrat Bill Clinton was president. In May, Pigott filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Department of Human Services against retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and three former pro wrestlers along with several other people and businesses to try to recover millions of misspent welfare dollars that were intended to help some of the poorest people in the U.S.

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Leaders have been obsessed with preventing welfare fraud among poor; not so much among wealthy

State legislative leaders spent an inordinate amount of time in 2017 passing the Medicaid and Human Services Transparency and Fraud Prevention Act to put in place additional reporting requirements and other safeguards to ensure poor Mississippians were not getting benefits some feared they did not deserve. “We (Mississippians) have the second-lowest work participation rate in the country,” Jameson Taylor, then vice president for policy research with the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, told the Heartland Institute at the time. “Welfare is a trap. We want to help move people from dependency to dignity, and from poverty to prosperity. That’s what these reforms do. They will also save the state money by kicking fraudsters off our rolls.”

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Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre questioned by FBI in connection with welfare scandal in Mississippi


Legendary former NFL quarterback Brett Favre has been questioned by the FBI in a scandal over misappropriated welfare funds in the longtime Green Bay Packers star’s native Mississippi.


The state of Mississippi gave Favre $1.1 million in 2017 and 2018 to deliver speeches. Not only did the Hall of Fame quarterback not give the speeches, but the money he was paid had been drawn from federal welfare funds. Consequently, Mississippi’s state auditor forced Favre to return the money, with interest. Favre reportedly has repaid the $1.1 million but not the $228,000 interest as yet. Favre, born in 1969 in Gulfport, Miss., also lobbied for a multimillion-dollar grant for a drug company in which he was the biggest shareholder, as well as $5 million for a new volleyball arena at the University of Southern Mississippi, where his daughter was on the volleyball team and where the future NFL Hall of Famer was himself a college athlete.

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Mississippi Department of Human Services sues Brett Favre, others over welfare misspending


The Mississippi Department of Human Services on Monday sued retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre, three former pro wrestlers and several other people and businesses to try to recover millions of misspent welfare dollars that were intended to help some of the poorest people in the United States. The lawsuit says the defendants "squandered" more than $20 million in money from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families anti-poverty program. The suit was filed less than two weeks after a mother and son who ran a nonprofit group and an education company in Mississippi pleaded guilty to state criminal charges tied to the misspending. Nancy New, 69, and Zachary New, 39, agreed to testify against others in what State Auditor Shad White has called Mississippi's largest public corruption case in the past two decades.

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CeeJay

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Brett Favre Mississippi welfare scandal, explained


There has long been a connection between former Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre and a scandal involving Mississippi's welfare fund. Favre has already been ordered to pay back money he received but the more recent developments have stated that he played a role in channeling funds to help build a new athletic facility at his alma mater, Southern Miss. Over this time, Favre has denied being aware of the money involved and, essentially, has downplayed his overall involvement in the scheme that involved former Governor Phil Bryant and non-profit organizer Nancy New, among others. However, a bombshell report from Anna Wolfe of Mississippi Today reveals that might not be the case as text messages were released that included Favre's involvement in the matter. So with this latest revelation, here is a breakdown of what we know and everything that's going on.

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CeeJay

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Mississippi Department of Human Services sues Brett Favre, others over welfare misspending​

 
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