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On the surface, the welfare fraud case in Mississippi involving former NFL star QB Brett Favre and a slew of other Mississippians sounds too fishy to ignore.
And that’s because it is.
When you start digging, the situation reeks of scandal, fraud, criminal activity and corruption.
In what Mississippi Today labeled “the biggest public fraud case in state history”, at least $77 million in funds allocated to help the needy were “misspent” on other things. That includes “at least $5 million” for a new volleyball stadium at Southern Mississippi that was championed by Brett Favre as his daughter played for the university (Favre also played college football at the university).
This isn’t Favre’s first inclusion in a Mississippi fund scandal.
NBC News reports that Favre was paid $1.1 million by the state to make motivational speeches in 2017 and 2018- speeches which, according to the Mississippi state auditor, he never made.
In that case, the state demanded its money back, plus interest.
Favre acquiesced and repaid most of the fees (approximately $600,000) but balked at the requested $228,000 in interest.
But the audit pulled the curtain back on the bigger, stunning welfare scheme in the state, which placed Favre back in the hot seat.
The audit revealed that $70 million in TANF welfare funds (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) was given to everyone but the families it was designed for. The list of beneficiaries includes Favre, former pro wrestler Ted DiBiase, former Oklahoma running back Marcus Dupree and the volleyball complex.
This has simultaneously become a state and federal criminal case.
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