Brett Favre’s defense in a civil lawsuit brought by the Mississippi Department of Human Services just got even more difficult.
On Friday, more texts involving the former NFL quarterback were released by former Mississippi governor Phil Bryant in court documents.
In those texts, further details about how Favre allegedly helped orchestrate the misuse of welfare funds to build a new state-of-the-art volleyball stadium at University of Southern Mississippi.
Favre and Bryant both graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi and Brett’s daughter was on the school’s volleyball team at the time of alleged fraud.
Some of the most brow-raising new texts:— Anna Wolfe (@ayewolfe) September 24, 2022
Bryant in 2019 after meeting with the new welfare director, Favre and New about volleyball funding:
“We are going to get there. This was a great meeting. But we have to follow the law. I am to old for Federal Prison. 😄😎”
One of the key players in the scandal was Nancy New, the former executive director of the nonprofit Mississippi Community Education Center, who pled guilty to federal and state charges of misusing public money in April. She faces up to 100 years in prison on four counts of bribery, two counts of fraud against the government and five counts of mail fraud.
According to a new report by Mississippi Today…
In 2017 and 2018, New’s nonprofit paid $5 million to the volleyball construction and $1.1 million to Favre directly. But by 2019, builders needed more funding to complete the project, and Favre became worried that he would be left holding the bag, as he was the one who initially committed the funds. As investigators cracked down on Mississippi Department of Human Services and the New nonprofit, the welfare funding dried up and Favre began talking to other state agencies about getting the rest of the money to finish the project. It’s unclear what, if any, other public money wound up going to the volleyball project.
Nancy New’s son Zach New pleaded guilty in April to defrauding the government by acting “with John Davis and others at their direction, to disguise the USM construction project as a ‘lease’ as a means of circumventing the limited purpose grant’s strict prohibition against ‘brick and mortar’ construction projects.”
Brett Favre was allegedly paid $1.1 million in welfare money for speeches he never actually gave
The Hall of Fame QB claimed in contradictory statements that he “never received monies for obligations I didn’t meet,” yet later admitted that he paid back $1.1 million to the state of Mississippi (without any interest). The state is still suing Favre for that same $1.1 million.
Shad White, the State Auditor for Mississippi, flat out said Favre’s statements were “lies.”
After Bryant left office in early 2020, the filing explains that Favre continued to push for Bryant’s help, and Bryant consulted Favre about lobbying the Legislature for bonds to finish out the volleyball construction.
Bryant also talked to then-USM President Rodney Bennett about the predicament.
“I’ve asked Brett not to do the things he’s doing to seek funding from state agencies and the legislature for the volleyball facility,” Bennett texted Bryant in late January 2020, according to the filing. “As you know, IHL has a process of how we request and get approval for projects and what he’s doing is outside those guidelines. I will see, for the ‘umpteenth time’ if we can get him to stand down. The bottom line is he personally guaranteed the project, and on his word and handshake we proceeded. It’s time for him to pay up – it really is just that simple.”
Favre, who made $137.8 million in his NFL career, was allegedly so desperate to not have to spend his own money on the new volleyball facility that he texted former governor Bryant that they should look into using the “prison industry” to help “save money on [the] Vball facility.”
In addition to the volleyball facility money, Favre reportedly also hoped to cash in on a new concussion treatment drug produced by a pharmaceutical start-up company called Prevacus that received over $2 million in additional illegal welfare payments.
He currently faces no criminal charges.