Tuesday October 3, 2023

Brett Favre Unlikely Invoke Fifth Amendment in Welfare Case

  • Favre's legal team argues against a stay in the civil case filed by Mississippi's welfare department.
  • Favre also has a pending appeal over trial judge's decision not to dismiss him as a defendant.
Brett Favre
Syndication: Nashville, Tennessean.
Front Office Sports Today

NBC Could Get In On College Football Playoffs

NBC is exploring broadcasting a slice of the expanded CFP in 2026.
Listen Now
October 3, 2023 | Podcast
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

Attorneys for Brett Favre again claimed the Hall of Fame quarterback “has done nothing wrong” for his alleged role in a scheme involving millions of illegally diverted federal welfare funds.

But there was a new wrinkle in the latest filing as part of a Mississippi civil case where Favre is among more than 40 defendants: Favre “does not intend to invoke the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination” in the case.

“Favre is playing a very dangerous game,” Matt Tympanick, a veteran federal criminal defense attorney, told Front Office Sports. “Though his statements made during these proceedings cannot come as direct evidence in a potential criminal case, they could come as impeachment evidence if Favre were to take the stand.”

The motion by Favre’s legal team seeks to prevent a stay in the case as the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) aims to claw back the misspent funds that originated from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a federal program designed to support the nation’s neediest families. 

“Favre would be severely prejudiced by a stay,” wrote Eric D. Herschmann, Favre’s lead attorney, wrote in the motion. “A stay under these circumstances would unduly delay Favre’s opportunity to have his day in court and clear his name.”

FOS previously reported that Favre has been on the radar of federal investigators, and he was interviewed by FBI agents and other members of law enforcement in early 2020. 

Herschman, who represented President Trump during Trump’s first impeachment hearing, wrote in the Monday motion that his client “is not the target of any criminal investigation and has not been charged.”

No documentation was offered to support that federal investigators aren’t targeting Favre.

“Favre testifying isn’t going to convince the U.S. Attorney’s Office to decline to file charges,”  said Tympanick, founder of Tympanick Law. “They potentially could get evidence via his testimony that they didn’t previously have.”

Three defendants in the case — including John Davis, the former director of MDHS — requested a stay until their criminal proceedings concluded. Davis pleaded guilty to numerous state and federal charges for his role in Mississippi’s largest public corruption scandal. 

While he was sentenced to 32 years on the state charges, Davis has not been sentenced on the federal charges as he continues cooperating with state and federal investigators. 

Favre has repeatedly sought to be dismissed as a defendant, the latest bid rejected by a Hinds County, Miss., judge in April. 

In May, Favre’s legal team appealed that decision.

“This State’s citizens should not have to worry that monetary liability will attach to casual offers to assist others,” Favre’s Mississippi-based attorney Michael J. Shemper and Herschman wrote. “Put differently, for the same reason that it would have been unjust and unlawful for Favre to face liability on the supposed oral promise itself, it is unjust and unlawful for Favre to face liability as a transfer beneficiary.

“And yet, under MDHS’s view of the law, Favre is liable for his alleged informal guarantee, even if the guarantee itself would have been unenforceable in court, and liable for whatever amount it might have been-whether $5 million or $500 million.”

Favre has been linked to about $8 million in allegedly misappropriated TANF funds funneled from MDHS through a non-profit. 

  • About $1.1 million went to Favre directly for speaking engagements he did not perform. He’s since paid the principal amount back. 
  • Through Favre’s alleged lobbying, $5 million went to the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation to construct a volleyball center at his alma mater, where his daughter played at the time. 
  • Favre allegedly utilized the same setup to direct  $1.7 million to Prevacus, a pharmaceutical company that counted Favre as its largest investor. 

“Favre admittedly received TANF funds directly from MCEC for speeches he never gave,” MDHS lawyers wrote in the response to appeal. “This is what began the negative publicity, which increased when Mississippi Today obtained Favre’s text messages. MDHS’s lawsuit is not to blame, and the trial court’s suppression order limits any further publicity.”

MDHS’ lawyers also wrote that Favre “understood that grant funds provided by MDHS could not be used for brick-and-mortar construction,” and Favre “knew or should have known that use of grant funds” for Prevacus “was inconsistent with the pursuit of lawful TANF purposes,” and “ was therefore an illegal transaction.”

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read


NHL’s Chris Foster on Amplifying Content Distribution With Automation

Learn how the NHL is using WSC Sports to increase fan engagement.

How Daktronics Helps Elite Athletic Programs Secure Top Talent

How colleges are utilizing Daktronics' displays to elevate recruiting.

WBD Pursues ‘Different’ Strategy For Sports on Max

Company to place all of its live sports on new streaming tier

Colorado's Epic Victory Sets New ESPN Prime Time Viewership Record

Coach Prime Deion Sanders delivered in prime time on ESPN.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

NBC Could Get In On College Football Playoffs


Featured Today

Football analyst and PFF investor Chris Collinsworth talks to man in front of computers

Cris Collinsworth 'Lost a Lot of Sleep' Over Pro Football Focus Leadership Issues

New book details why it’s no longer a “happy place to work.”
NBC is interested in media rights to the expanded College Football Playoff.
October 2, 2023

NBC Is Interested in Expanded College Football Playoff Media Rights

NBC is one of the networks pitching the CFP, a source confirmed.
October 2, 2023

MLB Attendance Surges 70 Million, Tops League Projections

League posts best year-over-year increase at the gate since 1993
Levi's Stadium
October 2, 2023

49ers Study Shows Benefits of Public-Private Stadium Deals

Levi’s Stadium has generated more than $2 billion per new study.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Chicago Cubs
New York
Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group, Inc.
USA - Multiple Locations

Arbitrator Rules Panini Can Continue Selling NFLPA Products

Panini can continue to sell NFLPA-licensed products.
Mississippi tackle Michael Oher poses with his family after being selected as the number 23 overall pick to the Baltimore Ravens in the 2009 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
September 29, 2023

Judge Ends Michael Oher’s Conservatorship with Tuohy Family

Oher claims the Tuohys misrepresented their legal relationship to him.
Patrick Reed
September 27, 2023

Judge Dismisses Both of Patrick Reed’s Defamation Cases

A federal judge dismissed both of Patrick Reed’s defamation cases.
NFL concussions
September 27, 2023

The NFL’s $1B Battle Over Concussion Settlement Heats Up

The NFL is seeking at least $1.2 billion from its risk carriers.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence is among the FTX endorsers who have reached a settlement for their roles in promoting the crypto exchange.
September 18, 2023

Trevor Lawrence Settles Lawsuit Over FTX Crypto Endorsement

Lawrence has settled while other FTX athlete endorsers still face lawsuits.
Lane Kiffin
September 15, 2023

Ole Miss Football Player Files $40M Lawsuit Against Lane Kiffin, School

Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin is being sued by one of his players.
Senate Hearings
September 13, 2023

Senate Subpoenas Saudi Investment Fund Records in PGA Tour Inquiry

Senate hearing reveals deep concerns about the potential PGA Tour-LIV deal.