JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) - Former NFL and University of Southern Mississippi quarterback Brett Favre was paid more than $1 million in federal grant money to attend speaking engagements that he never showed up to, according to Mississippi State Auditor Shad White.
An audit of the Mississippi Department of Human Services found more than $90 million of federal grant money meant for needy Mississippians was misspent by the state agency.
The DHS audit showed massive sums were funneled to grantees like the Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC) and the Family Resource Center of North Mississippi (FRC), two nonprofit organizations.
Those grantees were given over $98 million in DHS grants over the last three years, mostly from the program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
The audit says Favre Enterprises, which is run by Favre and his wife, Deanna, was paid $1.1 million for events Favre was contracted to speak at but never did.
According to the audit report, Favre Enterprises was contracted by MCEC for Favre 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 a contract price in documentation provided to the State Auditor’s Office.
The audit found Favre Enterprises was paid $500,000 in December 2017 and $600,000 in June 2018.
White’s report says MCEC provided a list of dates for the events, but auditors determined Favre was not present at any of them.
Logan Reeves, spokesman for the State Auditor’s Office said it is possible Favre did not know the payment he received was made with federal grant money.
“It’s going to be up to the courts or the federal department of health and human services to determine if Favre Enterprises is liable for this money,” Reeves said. “It’s likely most of the people who received that money weren’t aware it was TANF money.”
Favre is not facing any criminal charges at this time.
WDAM left a message for Favre’s longtime agent Buss Cook and is awaiting a response.