• Loading stock data...
Saturday, February 24, 2024
Rates for the 2024 Best Venue Awards increase this Sunday at 11:59 p.m. ET
Law

Mississippi Welfare Agency Offers Theories on Brett Favre’s Missing Texts

  • The Mississippi Department of Human Services questions why Favre has been unable to produce text messages.
  • Favre also has refused to turn over tax returns requested by MDHS lawyers.
Brett Favre sues Shannon Sharpe, Pat McAfee, and Mississippi State Auditor Shad White .
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The legal battle over Brett Favre’s text messages has led attorneys for the Mississippi Department of Human Services to ponder why the Hall of Famer can’t find texts that could shed light on his alleged role in the welfare scandal.

Favre was interviewed by the FBI in 2020, although he hasn’t been charged criminally by federal or local authorities as others have over their alleged involvement in the largest public corruption scandal in Mississippi history that saw the misappropriation of at least $77 million of federal welfare funds. 

“First, he claims he does not have his 2017 text messages, but somehow this does not mean that those messages have been destroyed, lost, discarded, or otherwise disposed of,” MDHS lawyers wrote in a Thursday filing obtained by Front Office Sports.

“This is Orwellian doublespeak. … If Favre deleted his text messages after his FBI interview, or after the News were arrested in February 2020, then this is probative evidence of not only his intent to spoliate evidence, but also his conspiratorial intent. Favre should be compelled to fully respond to the interrogatory (questions from MDHS).”

The interview with the FBI occurred close to the time the two leaders of a nonprofit at the center of the scandal — Nancy and Zach New — were first charged. The News’ nonprofit, Mississippi Community Education Center, was used to allegedly funnel $8 million of TANF connected to Favre, according to previous filings in the lawsuit. 

Like the News, Favre is among the more than 40 defendants in the lawsuit seeking to recoup the misspent Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds, federal money aimed to help the poorest families in the U.S. 

MDHS has sought text messages from Favre’s phone as far back as 2017, in large part to authenticate the many texts that were obtained via subpoena from other defendants in the case. 

One potential explanation MDHS lawyers offered: Favre “turned his phone over to the FBI.”

“If Favre still had text messages from 2018 in 2022, then he likely still had text messages from 2017 in 2020,” MDHS attorneys wrote.

FOS reported Favre has remained on the radar of federal investigators since that 2020 interview. Representatives for the Justice Department have declined comment. 

Typically, federal investigators — after a judge approves a subpoena — would image a cell phone, and return the phone to the person. Federal investigators likely would seek cloud storage where the messages are archived.  

Favre’s lawyers have also balked at MDHS’ request for tax returns from 2017 through 2020. 

“Favre objects to this Request to the extent it seeks documents that are irrelevant to the claims or defenses in this action and not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence,” Favre’s attorneys wrote in a recent filing. 

But MDHS again stated that the tax returns are needed to determine how much Favre put toward a volleyball center built at the University of Southern Mississippi. The Southern Miss Athletic Foundation received at least $5 million in TANF funds for the project, allegedly with the assistance of Favre.

“Favre’s tax returns provide a check on whether the Foundation’s general ledger is correct,” MDHS lawyers wrote. “That ledger shows that the Foundation, for unknown reasons, paid Favre $250,000 on November 30, 2017.

“Favre’s tax return would show whether this was income he received. And the general ledger shows no donations from Favre, but the Foundation acknowledged donations from Favre of $150,000 for the volleyball facility in 2017, and $100,000 for the indoor and beach volleyball facilities in 2018.”

PDF Images of Exhibits filed by MDHS

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Brett Favre

Mississippi Auditor Sues Brett Favre Over Unpaid Interest Tied to Welfare Scandal

Shad White, who has spearheaded the case against Favre in Mississippi, seeks $729,000.
Brett Favre

Brett Favre’s Defamation Case Against State Auditor to Proceed

Judge denies Mississippi State Auditor Shad White’s motion to dismiss on Thursday.
Brett Farve

Former USM President: Brett Favre Agreed to Pay for ‘Entire’ Arena Project

Lawsuit alleges Favre entered into “handshake deal” to “personally guarantee the funds” for volleyball facility.
Lynn Fitch
exclusive

Mississippi Attorney General Yanks Lawyers in Brett Favre Defamation Case

An upcoming book written by the state auditor questions the integrity of the AG.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

How the Negro Leagues Are Staying in the Game

0:00
0:00

Featured Today

Sep 24, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; A general view of the Oakland Athletics dugout after the game against the Detroit Tigers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Murky Future: Everything You Need to Know About the A’s Move to Las Vegas

Breaking down one of the most drawn-out, multifaceted sagas in sports.
February 18, 2024

Sabrina-Steph Wasn’t the ‘Battle of the Sexes’—But It Was Part of the Bigger War

The competition could play a factor in increasing the WNBA’s media value.
NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23), in a Star Wars rebel alliance X-wing fighter pilot-inspired race suit, motions to the crowd to get louder during the driver introductions for the Cup Series Championship race at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale on Nov. 5, 2023.
February 17, 2024

Celebrity Owners, International Ambitions, and $7B Media Deals: Welcome to the New NASCAR

NASCAR boldly keeps pace with the increasingly competitive sports and entertainment world.
February 16, 2024

Wilson Introduced an Airless Basketball for $2,500. We Had Questions

The black, 3D-printed ball appeared in last year’s Slam Dunk Contest.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Finance Manager
FanDuel
New York, NY
Senior Technical Artist - Sports Technology
EA Sports
Orlando, FL
Assistant Manager, Affiliate Operations
Adidas
Portland, OR
DraftKings
February 6, 2024

DraftKings Sues Ex-Exec Over ‘Secret Plan’ to Aid Fanatics

Complaint alleges new Fanatics VP “improperly” encouraged DraftKings subordinates to depart.
Fanatics
February 7, 2024

Fanatics Betting Exec Calls DraftKings Allegations ‘Wrong and Disappointing,’ ‘False and Fabricated’

New VIP betting chief refutes accusations of ‘secret plan’ to steal customer info.
Sponsored

Live Sports Are Now High-Tech Experiences

Oracle is leading the technology revolution happening in stadiums across the world.
Ole Miss Lane Kiffin
January 31, 2024

Federal Judge Dismisses $40M Lawsuit Against Ole Miss Football Coach Lane Kiffin

Judge cites lack of evidence of alleged discrimination.
Nike
January 31, 2024

Nike Supply Chain Woes: Police Recover $5M in Stolen Merchandise

Nike thefts continue in SoCal as police make arrest, find $5 million in product.
Dec 16, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; Tiger Woods walks on the seventh hole during the PNC Championship at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club.
January 30, 2024

Tiger Woods Deposition Delayed in Florida Antitrust Case

Antitrust lawsuit filed in Florida against PGA Tour, DP World Tour progressing.
exclusive
January 30, 2024

‘Still a Great Deal of Uncertainty’: Deposition Exposes Goodell’s and NFL’s Concussion Deliberations

The unsealed 2022 deposition reveals NFL Commissioner Goodell’s views on concussions, lawsuits, and the league’s stance on medical evidence.