Audit questioned spending of welfare money by Tupelo nonprofit

Ruben Hill
May 5, 2020

State Auditor Shad White says his staff found $94 million in questionable expenses by the Mississippi Department of Human Services and a Tupelo-based nonprofit connected to the agency.

Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre was mentioned in a MS audit in which the state alleged that a nonprofit group caught in an embezzlement scheme used federal money to pay the former player more than $1 million for speaking engagements in which he was not present at the events.

The Clarion Ledger said the report showed that in the instance of Favre, he wasn't present at specified events and made no speeches. The Clarion Ledger has reached out to the Favre's agent for comment on this story and several related DH stories and has not received a response.

Favre isn't facing any criminal charges.

"Favre Enterprises was contracted to appear at several events, record promotions, and provide autographs for marketing materials from July 1, 2017 through July 31, 2018". There was no mention of the contract price in the contract supplied to auditors.

Brett Favre's name surfaced Monday in an alleged $94 million welfare fraud scheme in his home state of Mississippi.

The spending was uncovered as part of an audit that took place after former Human Services director John Davis and others were indicted and charged with embezzling about $4 million. White said "questioned" costs means "auditors either saw clear misspending or could not verify the money had been lawfully spent". They pleaded not guilty in February.

In addition to the funds paid to Favre, MCEC is accused of directing more than $1 million in welfare funds to Davis' nephew and brother-in-law, paying professional wrestlers, Ted DiBiase, Ted DiBiase Jr., and Brett DiBiase for work that wasn't performed and purchasing three cars valued at more than $50,000 each for MCEC director Nancy New and her family.

White called the case one of Mississippi's largest public corruption cases in decades.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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