Brett Favre, Ted DiBiase, Brett DiBiase, Zach New and Nancy New are all being asked to repay the welfare money the Mississippi State Auditor’s Office says they illegally received and spent.
The auditor’s office seeks to recoup $96 million, which includes interest, of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds that flowed through human services under former agency head John Davis in recent years.
“Two years ago my office audited (the Department of Human Services),” State Auditor Shad White said in a news release. “After two years of work, we found tens of millions of dollars in misspending. Those findings have now been confirmed, this month, by an independent forensic audit commissioned by DHS.”
The demands are a civil action and carry no criminal liability. If the amounts demanded are not repaid in 30 days, it is up to the Mississippi Attorney General’s office to enforce the demands in court. A judge can determine exactly how much is to be repaid and by whom it should be paid, according to a spokesperson with the auditor’s office.
Demands totaling $77 million were sent to the board of directors of Mississippi Community Education Center and the Family Resource Center. Both nonprofits were owned and operated by the News and are at the center of the misspent money.
Demand letters were also sent to Davis, the News, the DiBiases and Favre.
Davis, the News and the DiBiases were all criminal charged for their roles in the alleged welfare scheme. Ted and Brett DiBiase, both former professional wrestlers, pleaded guilty in December 2020. The News and Davis have all pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.
The auditor’s office sent a demand for $828,000 to Favre. Favre originally received $1.1 million of TANF funds through the Mississippi Community Education Center for speaking engagements and other work.
Favre, a hall of fame NFL quarterback, had pledged to pay back the money, but as of October he had only paid back $500,000.
A spokesperson with the auditor’s office said the $828,000 figure includes interest from the time Favre originally received the welfare money.