The Mississippi Department of Human Services is suing 38 people or companies, including Brett Favre for misspending millions in welfare money aimed to help the poorest state in the country, according to multiple reports.
The lawsuit aims to recover the more than $20 million in cash it claims the defendants “squandered” from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families anti-poverty program.
The lawsuit filed on Monday seeks $3.2 million combined from Favre and Favre Enterprises, Inc. The lawsuit that also names former pro wrestlers Brett and Ted DiBiase and their father Ted DiBiase Sr. aka “The Million Dollar Man.”
“I do not understand these people,” attorney Brad Pigott, who wrote the lawsuit, told Mississippi Today. “What kind of person would decide that money the law required to be spent helping the poorest people in the poorest state would be better spent being doled out by them to their own families, their own pet projects, and their own favorite celebrities?”
Ex-Department of Human Services Executive Director John Davis is named in the lawsuit as responsible for more than $23 million in misspent funds in a scandal State Auditor Shad White has called the “largest public fraud in state history.”
State Auditor Shad White contends that Favre received $1.1 million for speaking engagements for which he didn’t show up. Favre repaid the money, but he still allegedly owes $228,000 in interest. Favre has stated he didn’t know the money came from welfare funds and noted his charity has provided millions in cash to help children in poverty in Mississippi and Wisconsin.
In 2020, Nancy and Zachary, along with former Mississippi Department of Human Services executive director John Davis and three other people, were charged in state court over the misspending.
The expected filing comes months after the auditor’s office turned over demands for repayment of the misspent funds to the attorney general’s office.
“I applaud the team filing this suit and am grateful the state is taking another step toward justice for the taxpayers,” White said. “We will continue to work alongside our federal partners — who have been given access to all our evidence for more than two years — to make sure the case is fully investigated.”