Tuesday October 3, 2023

Brett Favre ‘Knew’ Mississippi Funds Transfer ‘Was Illegal’

  • Latest court filings allege Favre's texts show his concerns about alleged role in Mississippi scheme.
  • Favre has denied knowingly obtaining welfare funds, and has filed multiple defamation lawsuits.
Brett Favre texts revealed in latest filing.
Brett Favre played 20 seasons in the NFL. Syndication Usa Today
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Brett Favre wrote in a text that the former head of Mississippi’s state welfare program deserved an overpriced Ford pickup.

“Surprise him with a vehicle. … We could get him a Raptor,” Favre wrote in a January 2019 text

There’s no indication Favre paid close to six figures for that truck after John Davis helped to allegedly divert about $8 million to the Hall of Fame’s quarterback and his pet projects.

The Mississippi Department of Human Services — the same agency Davis led — detailed more allegations against Favre in an answer to his motion to dismiss. In the filing. Attorneys for the agency said Favre’s texts revealed he knew the scheme was “illegal.” 

Front Office Sports has previously reported on Favre’s ties to the welfare money and whether he knew the funds were from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a federal program aimed at helping families living well below the poverty line. 

Favre has denied knowingly obtaining welfare funds and has filed defamation lawsuits against Shannon Sharpe and Pat McAfee in an attempt to clear his name. Sharpe’s case was removed to federal court from a Mississippi county court on Monday.

But the latest text messages released likely won’t help Fave heal his image that led to several brands and media companies to pause deals with the former Green Bay Packers great.

“Will the public perception be that I became a spokesperson for various state-funded shelters, schools, homes, etc….and was compensated with state money? Or can we keep this confidential” Favre asked Nancy New. 

New’s non-profit organization acted as the dispensary of millions of misappropriated welfare funds taken from MDHS and handed out to companies and individuals that weren’t entitled to the money. 

New and Davis have pleaded guilty to state and federal criminal charges for their roles in the scheme. Both agreed to cooperate with investigators as part of their plea agreements. 

Davis’ texts were not among the images that appeared as part of the filings since MDHS lawyers have been unable to obtain discovery from him. Favre has only provided 22 pages of discovery and called Favre’s latest motion to dismiss “a long press release.”

TANF funds can’t be used for brick-and-mortar construction. However, MDHS alleged Favre “sought to secretly obtain those funds for that purpose anyway” after he entered into a handshake deal with USM Athletic Foundation to build the volleyball center in April 2017. Favre’s daughter played the sport at the school at the time. 

The $5 million was accepted by the USM Athletic Foundation, which is also a defendant in the lawsuit. In a previously released text from July 2017 as part of the civil case, Favre wrote that then-USM Jon Gilbert was “very Leary [sic] of accepting such a large grant.”

After the speeches and the USM volleyball complex, a pharmaceutical company Favre backed also got some help via Davis and New.

“I believe if it’s possible she and John Davis would use federal grant money for Prevacus,” Favre said in a December 2018 text to Jake Vanlandingham, the president of Prevacus.

Prevacus was developing an inhalable concussion treatment and, later, a cream that would aim to prevent concussions. Neither came to market, and the testing on the cream led to the deaths of multiple dogs.

Favre invested over $250,000 in the now-defunct company and was Prevacus’ largest shareholder. With Favre’s lobbying, Prevacus received $1.7 million in TANF funds that flowed similarly to his speeches and the volleyball center. 

And as far as that expensive truck, Davis wouldn’t have any use for it anyway. He has home detention as he awaits sentencing in federal court. He’s been sentenced to 32 years in prison in state court already. 

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