JACKSON, Miss. (CelebrityAccess) — NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre will repay the state of Mississippi for $1.1 million in fees for appearances he never made.
According to the New York Times, Louisiana State Auditor Shad White says his office received a payment for $500,000 from Favre and that the football legend has agreed to pay the remainder of the balance in installments over the coming months.
White said Favre claimed he had no knowledge of the fees, which were reportedly paid over a 6 month period between December 2017 to June 2018 from the Mississippi Community Education Center, a non-profit organization which paid for the alleged speaking engagements with federal grants intended for welfare recipients, the Times reported.
The payments came to light as part of a year-end audit that uncovered an extensive fraud scheme using funds intended for welfare, including $94 million from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.
According to the Times, the discovery of the alleged scheme has resulted in criminal charges against six people, including the former director of Mississippi’s welfare agency.
In a series of comments posted to social media, Favre maintains he was unaware of the source of the money, and that he had appeared in ads and had been hired to appear at promotional events for the resource center which had been a recipient of welfare grants.
“I would certainly never do anything to take away from the children I have fought to help!” he wrote in a post on Twitter. “I love Mississippi and I would never knowingly do anything to take away from those that need it most.”
Shad White appeared to back up Favre’s claims, tweeting: “I want to applaud Mr. Favre for his good faith effort to make this right and make the taxpayers and TANF families whole. To date, we have seen no records indicating Mr. Favre knew that TANF was the program that served as the source of the money he was paid.”