Brett Favre denies being paid for “obligations [he] didn’t meet”

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Sometimes, it’s better to say nothing at all.

On the same day the Mississippi State Auditor announced that Hall of Fame quarterback (and Mississippi native) Brett Favre will pay back $1.1 million in allegedly misappropriated welfare funds for services that an audit determined he never provided, Favre issued a statement that contradicts the notion that Favre received money for nothing.

“My agent is often approached by different products and brands for me to appear in one way or another,” Favre said on Twitter. “This request was no different, and I did numerous ads for Families First. I have never received monies for obligations I didn’t meet. To reiterate Auditors [sic] White’s statement, I was unaware that the money being dispersed was paid for out of funds not intended for that purpose, and because of that I am refunding the full amount back to Mississippi.

“I have spent my entire career helping children through Favre 4 Hope donating nearly $10 million to underserved and underprivileged children in Mississippi and Wisconsin. It has brought a ton of joy to my life, and I would certainly never do anything to take away from the children I have fought to help! I love Mississippi and I would never knowingly do anything to take away from those that need it most.”

The most important sentence in Favre’s statement is the highlighted one: “I have never received monies for obligations I didn’t meet.” Favre is basically saying that, despite the findings of the audit, he did indeed perform the services contemplated by the $1.1 million payment. So why then did he pay the money back?

The way Favre tells it, he received payment for services to be rendered, he rendered the services, and he paid the money back only after it came to light where the money came from. That will do nothing to reduce the zeal of state (less likely) or federal (more likely) prosecutors who will see the potential to catch a big fish and, in turn, to send a powerful message of deterrence from sea to shining sea to anyone who would be inclined to embezzle funds or to indirectly realize the fruits of misappropriation.

Ultimately, Favre may be entirely clean on this. For now, there’s no specific reason to think he isn’t. The circumstances, however, continue to cry out for further examination. With Favre now suggesting that he actually earned the seven-figure payment that he’ll be refunding, a full investigation becomes even more appropriate, if not necessary.

55 responses to “Brett Favre denies being paid for “obligations [he] didn’t meet”

  1. Well the only thing I have to say on this is why would the State even consider paying someone for promotional work out of the funds that are supposed to be helping those in need? That money that was paid to him was taken from the fund that is used to help feed families in need, and that is wrong in itself. It’s not Brett’s job to pay himself whether or not he completed an obligation is mute. I wanna know why the money came from the welfare fund, and not some other fund that state controls. He doesn’t pay himself he gets paid by someone from the state he has control over the account, so where’s THAT accountability?

  2. The first person to go in the jail cell is whoever decided that over a million dollars from a welfare fund should go to a famous former athlete. For ANYTHING.

  3. It sounds more like there was a middle-man taking some of these “monies”.

  4. For those of us to didn’t use the guilty till proven innocent mantra, this comes as no surprise because like him or not, Favre has never been about money and has always helped kids.

    People with the kind of money he has don’t handle the money themselves and are at a distance from it all.

  5. “So why then did he pay the money back?”

    He doesn’t need the negative publicity.

    The real question is why he couldn’t pay it all back at once?

  6. For now, there’s no specific reason to think he isn’t. The circumstances, however, continue to cry out for further examination

    ——————-

    Sure there is. The auditor reported the payments were for no show events. Until the auditor says that Favre did ads for Families First and upon further examination these payments were for those ads, the evidence points to fraud.

    If the auditor finds that he was paid for the ads separately from these payments, I think this looks even worse for Favre. From what I have read Favre was close friends with one of the principles of the scheme.

    Also, is he broke? Needs to make payments to return the money?

  7. So why then did he pay the money back?
    ___________

    Why has he donated nearly $10 million?
    Because he could afford to, and he felt it was the right thing to do in both cases. I doubt he knew where the money was coming from, and I can’t see any reason to chase him down for this. Other than for the shock and outrage.

  8. There have been plenty of ex-superstar athletes that received big money for doing almost nothing. These athletes are promoting certain causes just by having their names associated. Guys have made big bucks just hanging out at casinos, etc. I believe Brett didn’t knowingly and willingly accept welfare money, and give nothing in return.

  9. Ultimately, Favre may be entirely clean on this. For now, there’s no specific reason to think he isn’t.
    ###

    Well, there is the fact that he hasn’t been charged with anything.

    If the auditor had proof that he did something wrong, why no charges?

  10. Umm, if you want to help so much, why are you even taking payment for helping the kids? Why not show up for free? Donate your time WITHOUT pay? Do the ads for nothing?
    I’m glad he cares about the kids. I’m glad he’s donated as much as he has. But why take money that could be used to help others in the first place?

  11. “Why has he donated nearly $10 million.”

    Someone has never heard of a tax write off…

  12. >> Why has he donated nearly $10 million? … I can’t see any reason to chase him down for this.

    It doesn’t say he donated $10M. His charity, which accepts donations from others, raised and donated the money. I wouldn’t doubt that he donated a bunch to the charity and spends his time and effort on it, which is amazing – kudos to him, but that is not quite the same as paying it out of your own pocket.

    They are and should investigate allegations like this and prosecute anyone found to be siphoning money illegally from welfare funds. I wouldn’t doubt Favre is totally innocent, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be looking very closely at the transaction.

  13. Does a bank robber get out of jail free if he returns the money that he has already had the use of for a period of time?

  14. gtodriver says:
    May 7, 2020 at 8:22 am

    Ultimately, Favre may be entirely clean on this. For now, there’s no specific reason to think he isn’t.
    ###

    Well, there is the fact that he hasn’t been charged with anything.

    If the auditor had proof that he did something wrong, why no charges?

    =====================================

    Well as someone who has been heavily involved in forensic (fraud) audit work, there are a variety of reasons, most of them time-related.

    It isn’t unusual for someone to be paid in advance for services to be rendered, but this case raises a couple of questions that don’t pass the smell test. First, while Favre claims he didn’t know that the money was from the state, whose name was on the checks? The funds weren’t coming out of a personal account, and since this isn’t for Favre’s charity, he had to notice as he had to endorse the check(s) prior to depositing them. Second, what was the purpose of the speaking engagement or the “meet and greet”? Let’s safely assume that it was to promote a state agency, something that was communicated clearly to Favre. He had to know. Third, if the state auditor is claiming that the payment was for “unmet obligations” it means that the event was held, and Favre simply never showed up or was instructed not to show up. That doesn’t mean it was for future obligations, paid in advance; the auditor is claiming that the event was held. Favre is going to need documentation to prove that he was told not to attend.

    That last point is why there hasn’t been an arrest. That means the state wants additional time to examine the audit evidence before making a conclusion and sending the report to whomever in the state is paying for the audit. At that point, a recommendation may be made for an arrest of Favre.

  15. “The real question is why he couldn’t pay it all back at once?”

    I asked the same question.why wouldnt a multi millionaire pay back the 600K all at once? all I can think of is that the daily interest he earns on that money in more of an incentive than to pay it back all at once and let it be distributed to the poor people it was meant for in the first place.as for his word he gave the speeches to earn the money it should not be hard to find out with a little investigating.if he did take the money as a gratuity without doing the speeches he was paid for then he should be ashamed and humiliated.

  16. kevines255 says:
    May 7, 2020 at 8:32 am
    “Why has he donated nearly $10 million.”

    Someone has never heard of a tax write off…

    lol… Looks like you do not understand how that works.

  17. There is a difference between “donating $10M” and doing charity events that raise money for charities. It’s great that he’s done that, but it really has no relevance to this story.

  18. zonkerharris213 says:
    Well as someone who has been heavily involved in forensic (fraud) audit work, there are a variety of reasons, most of them time-related.

    It isn’t unusual for someone to be paid in advance for services to be rendered, but this case raises a couple of questions that don’t pass the smell test. First, while Favre claims he didn’t know that the money was from the state, whose name was on the checks? The funds weren’t coming out of a personal account, and since this isn’t for Favre’s charity, he had to notice as he had to endorse the check(s) prior to depositing them. Second, what was the purpose of the speaking engagement or the “meet and greet”? Let’s safely assume that it was to promote a state agency, something that was communicated clearly to Favre. He had to know. Third, if the state auditor is claiming that the payment was for “unmet obligations” it means that the event was held, and Favre simply never showed up or was instructed not to show up. That doesn’t mean it was for future obligations, paid in advance; the auditor is claiming that the event was held. Favre is going to need documentation to prove that he was told not to attend.

    That last point is why there hasn’t been an arrest. That means the state wants additional time to examine the audit evidence before making a conclusion and sending the report to whomever in the state is paying for the audit. At that point, a recommendation may be made for an arrest of Favre.
    ————————–

    Would you know that the funds came from the State of MS if the check was from “Families First Initiative”? Is Families First Initiative a state agency? Or is one of it’s main funding sources simply the government?

    I have seen no mention as to which Favre entity the check was written out to. He may or may not have had to endorse it and he may or may not have to personally write a check to cover the refund.

    Having been involved with meet and greet and other fund raising efforts, the Favre’s presence, statements, use in an ad or video etc was almost certainly seen as a way for the Charity to raise even more funds. The reason you see advertisements all the time on TV, or other media seeking your donation.

    You third point that Favre simply didn’t show is a presumption. An alternative explanation is that the govt auditor does not have all the information necessary to make the claim.

  19. This isn’t possible to not know when this size of money starts popping up in your account(s) and your own personal accountant, which I have no doubt he has, wouldn’t ALSO notice it.

    Audits are not done immediately. They’re done well after any actions are taken, sometimes years.

    He’s a liar and a bad one, and he just committed fraud as the audit proved.

    Arrest, try and convict.

  20. billh1947 says:
    May 7, 2020 at 9:39 am
    “The real question is why he couldn’t pay it all back at once?”

    I asked the same question.why wouldnt a multi millionaire pay back the 600K all at once? all I can think of is that the daily interest he earns on that money in more of an incentive than to pay it back all at once and let it be distributed to the poor people it was meant for in the first place.as for his word he gave the speeches to earn the money it should not be hard to find out with a little investigating.if he did take the money as a gratuity without doing the speeches he was paid for then he should be ashamed and humiliated.

    3 3 Rate This

    ———————–

    Well, it’s Covid 19 and a lot of these millionaire types aren’t wise with their money and investments.

    He may have just bought a lot of really expensive things and his wealth is tied up elsewhere, so quick cash may not be as readily available as some of us think, even for multi millionaires.

    And, let’s face it, he was never known as the brightest bulb in the shed.

  21. “Why has he donated nearly $10 million.”

    Someone has never heard of a tax write off…

    —————————————————————-

    So, Brett starts out with $10MM. Gives it away so now down $10MM. Takes a $10MM tax deduction reducing his taxable income by $10MM which, at a 40% tax rate, reduces his income taxes by $4MM which we’ll count as an inflow (avoided payment). So his $10MM outflow is reduced to a $6MM outflow. Brett is still out of pocket $6MM.

    Yeah. Sure. That’s why he gave away $10MM…to save $4MM in taxes. You do appreciate that if he just kept the $10MM and paid the $4MM in taxes, he’d still be personally better off by $6MM.

  22. I’m a Patriot fan and find it hard to believe Favre handles the daily accounting that goes along with his seemingly simple lifestyle. Nobody ever accused him of being a rocket scientist ala Mat Patricia, but Favre isn’t gonna steal from kids, Period. He may need to rethink who handles his money and appearances. Maybe he needs a pencil behind his ear to make him look Wicked Smaht.

  23. A man with money will pony it up, right or wrong, in an effort to avoid your scathing remarks.
    I doubt he even knew about it.
    Simply trusting too many people, or the wrong ones.

  24. WAY more information is needed.

    If a team of people in the office at that fund were to steal from it, one easy tactic is to inflate the expenses. Favre &/or his org being one of those line-items.

    Nobody does a forensic analysis on the numbers, your fine. If they do, you’ve got a story to tell.

    Much more plausible scenerio. Probably started with 1 or 2 people at the office, then others in the office gradually brought in.

  25. “It isn’t unusual for someone to be paid in advance for services to be rendered, but this case raises a couple of questions that don’t pass the smell test. First, while Favre claims he didn’t know that the money was from the state, whose name was on the checks? The funds weren’t coming out of a personal account, and since this isn’t for Favre’s charity, he had to notice as he had to endorse the check(s) prior to depositing them. Second, what was the purpose of the speaking engagement or the “meet and greet”? Let’s safely assume that it was to promote a state agency, something that was communicated clearly to Favre. He had to know. Third, if the state auditor is claiming that the payment was for “unmet obligations” it means that the event was held, and Favre simply never showed up or was instructed not to show up. That doesn’t mean it was for future obligations, paid in advance; the auditor is claiming that the event was held. Favre is going to need documentation to prove that he was told not to attend.”

    ************

    The audit report says that the money that went to Favre Enterprises, Inc. came from a nonprofit corporation, not from the state. John Davis, the Executive Director of the Mississippi DHS, funneled state funds to the Mississippi Community Education Center and its chief, Nancy New, made many payments questioned by the state auditor, including the $500K and $600K payments made to Favre Enterprises in 2017 and 2018.

    Since the money went from a nonprofit to Favre’s corporation–which, by the way, has at least five employees as far as I’ve been able to figure out from online records–it’s plausible that Favre not only didn’t know that the money came from the state, but may have been unaware that the transfer was papered with a personal services contract. The auditor specifically says that ultimate recipients may have been unaware.

    The audit report doesn’t indicate that any inquiry was made of Favre or Favre Enterprises employees. Because of poor/nonexistent recordkeeping at the state agency level, the auditors did ask for records from Nancy New’s MCEC. The report says they found that the dates they were given for performance of services under the contract didn’t check out, and concluded that the payments were “questioned” because of the inability to verify that services were performed and because, in any case, the payments were unreasonable.

    In light of all this, I don’t think we can say anything one way or another right now about whether Favre was involved in wrongdoing, or that his repayment of the $1.1M is any indication of guilt.

    The Executive Director and Nancy New were indicted back in February, along with another Mississippi DHS employee, Nancy New’s son, the son of “Million Dollar Man” wrestler DiBiasi, and the accountant for Nancy New’s MCEC. Once their trials begin, we’ll find out a lot more about how the fraud worked.

  26. “I doubt he even knew about it.”

    I think Brent cares about money and knows about his finances more than some are willing to believe.

  27. Having read quite a bit on this scheme my guess is that they actually did have Favre do SOMETHING even though it wasn’t what he was supposed to be doing. In another part of the scheme they were supposed to be doing “good health” seminars but used the money to pay expensive personal trainers for themselves and their staffs. He probably wasn’t in on the embezzling but still fair to question why he was taking that kind of money from what was obviously a public, non-profit sort of entity without doing anything that would have been helping their cause. Good example of how as long as the money is right lots of people won’t ask any questions.

  28. To me the malfeasance lies with the state. Ideally, ALL the funds allocated for welfare programs should go to those the funds are intended to assist. Why is there ANY need for speaking engagements or advertising at all? They are government funds. Siphoning funds for any reason other than the intended purpose when the funds were approved/allocated should be criminal. That goes for all state or federal money, IMHO. If assistance programs become a business model for individual enrichment there is a huge corruption problem.

  29. Everything Favre does that creates revenue is run through Bus Cook. If the authorities are investigating,… take a look at Bus Cook. I wouldn’t trust him further than I could spit.
    He’s been in unsavory situations before.

  30. Folks, what y’all failing to realize is that there’s one set of rules for the rich and powerful and another set for the rest of us.

  31. atthemurph says:
    May 7, 2020 at 10:31 am

    zonkerharris213 says:
    Well as someone who has been heavily involved in forensic (fraud) audit work, there are a variety of reasons, most of them time-related.

    It isn’t unusual for someone to be paid in advance for services to be rendered, but this case raises a couple of questions that don’t pass the smell test. First, while Favre claims he didn’t know that the money was from the state, whose name was on the checks? The funds weren’t coming out of a personal account, and since this isn’t for Favre’s charity, he had to notice as he had to endorse the check(s) prior to depositing them. Second, what was the purpose of the speaking engagement or the “meet and greet”? Let’s safely assume that it was to promote a state agency, something that was communicated clearly to Favre. He had to know. Third, if the state auditor is claiming that the payment was for “unmet obligations” it means that the event was held, and Favre simply never showed up or was instructed not to show up. That doesn’t mean it was for future obligations, paid in advance; the auditor is claiming that the event was held. Favre is going to need documentation to prove that he was told not to attend.

    That last point is why there hasn’t been an arrest. That means the state wants additional time to examine the audit evidence before making a conclusion and sending the report to whomever in the state is paying for the audit. At that point, a recommendation may be made for an arrest of Favre.
    ————————–

    Would you know that the funds came from the State of MS if the check was from “Families First Initiative”? Is Families First Initiative a state agency? Or is one of it’s main funding sources simply the government?

    I have seen no mention as to which Favre entity the check was written out to. He may or may not have had to endorse it and he may or may not have to personally write a check to cover the refund.

    Having been involved with meet and greet and other fund raising efforts, the Favre’s presence, statements, use in an ad or video etc was almost certainly seen as a way for the Charity to raise even more funds. The reason you see advertisements all the time on TV, or other media seeking your donation.

    You third point that Favre simply didn’t show is a presumption. An alternative explanation is that the govt auditor does not have all the information necessary to make the claim.

    ====================================

    I’m assuming that it is a state check, and if you’ve ever had to handle a typical state check, you’ll see mechanical counter-signatures, usually the state treasurer and some other big wig. Unless Mississippi is some exception to the rule, that’s what you’ll see from an agency. I cannot imagine a state program being any different, and there are rules on disbursement approval, particularly for large sums like the ones in question. In other words, Favre should have known, and someone was either asleep at the wheel or complicit within Mississippi.

    States like auditability for obvious reasons, so it certainly wasn’t an ACH transfer. Again, Favre should have known by looking at the check. If it is a state agency or state program, it will be obvious. The only way around this for Favre is if the check was indirect via a grant to a non-profit agency. But that increases the visibility of being detected, as agencies that receive funds from fed, state or local governments are audited by outside CPA firms. An amount like the one in question would certainly be scrutinized, and it wouldn’t pass what we call the giggle test in terms of its intended purpose (program promo by an ex-jock). It would be flagged, and placed prominently in the audit report and management letter for the mandated annual financial audit. It wouldn’t even take a forensic audit to detect this.

    My third point is to explain the timing. No state attorney general ever wants to charge a celebrity, not unless they have clear evidence. It would be highly embarrassing if the state was wrong, and certainly a potential career-ending charge. I’m sure they’re examining the written evidence they have, and requesting additional evidence from Favre, his agent, and their accountants. If that state isn’t satisfied, they will then issue a subpoena. In other words, we’re a long way from any formal charges.

  32. Why does repayment need to be made in installments and what were the dates for the actual appearances?

  33. If Favre can prove he met his obligations, he should do so as soon as possible.

    If he did not meet his obligations and the evidence leads the average person to believe he was fraudulently receiving public funds meant for the neediest children in the poorest state in the union, he should be prosecuted.

  34. Taking millions and not meeting the obligations? Does Brett have Sam Bradford’s agent now?

  35. “The only way around this for Favre is if the check was indirect via a grant to a non-profit agency. But that increases the visibility of being detected, as agencies that receive funds from fed, state or local governments are audited by outside CPA firms. An amount like the one in question would certainly be scrutinized, and it wouldn’t pass what we call the giggle test in terms of its intended purpose (program promo by an ex-jock). It would be flagged, and placed prominently in the audit report and management letter for the mandated annual financial audit. It wouldn’t even take a forensic audit to detect this.”

    And that’s exactly what happened. The state’s Exec.Dir. of DHS funneled the money to a non-profit and the non-profit paid the money to Favre Enterprises, Inc. So Favre never saw a state check, and maybe never saw a check at all, since Favre Enterprises, Inc. has employees. And you are exactly right that it wouldn’t take a forensic audit to detect this. It was revealed via a regular audit.

    Given the article in Mississippi Today (which makes for fascinating reading), Favre may well be involved in some unsavory dealings. But from what we know right now, it’s not clear what role these payments might play in those dealings.

  36. “Sometimes, it’s better to say nothing at all.”

    Ahhh, the aaron rodgers approach.

  37. billh1947 says:
    May 7, 2020 at 9:39 am
    “The real question is why he couldn’t pay it all back at once?”

    Because people who actually have money, don’t actually just keep piles of money lying around. It’s not like you have millions in your checking account. It’s all invested. It’s real property. It’s businesses.

    Money that is just sitting in an account, is actually losing value.

    With the pandemic right now, it’s a very bad time to cash out of investments. He’s probably trying to avoid losing a ton of money in the process of repaying it since this wasn’t a planned thing.

  38. Would he have returned the money if the news of this payment hadn’t surfaced?

    I think we all know the answer to that.

  39. Funny, yesterday and the day before Favre haters were yelling that if he was innocent he would say something and pay the money back. Today Favre haters are pointing to the fact he says he’s innocent and will pay the money back as proof of his guilt.
    Hypocrisy isn’t just for politics.

  40. There is a lot of new information just released on other websites. Looks like Favre is deep in this up to his neck and it may go beyond the inexplicable $1.1M payment. I would not be surprised if he will be facing criminal indictment.

  41. Embezzlement. Follow the deposits. Athletes get money stolen from them all the time by their financial advisors.

  42. While Favre loves his money, I have a hard time believing he was aware of all the details here — sounds like the funds didn’t come directly from the state and that they were deposited into an account through his entity administered by others. I just don’t see Brett going over monthly financial statements when he could be riding around the back 40 on his tractor, and I bet he gets a ton of dough for permitting the use of his likeness or appearing via video. Maybe it will come out as some sort of grand fraud scheme, but I’ve gotta question if Favre paid enough attention for anything to be criminal in the first place.

  43. Isn’t this the stock answer for all that get caught. No accountability I am above it all

  44. “It’s not Brett’s job to pay himself whether or not he completed an obligation is mute.”

    Um, the word is “moot” but you can say “mute” like all geniuses do if you wanna sound real smart.

  45. “Also, is he broke? Needs to make payments to return the money?”

    Look, I don’t wish poverty on anyone no matter how big a scum bag he is but let’s be real, I do wanna see him in some more Copperfit ads.

  46. According to Jeff Pearlman’s Favre book from a couple years ago, Favre made some really dumb investments after he retired and may have lost between $10M-$20M. Supposedly this is part of the reason why he’ll take any endorsement opportunity offered these days.

  47. While he’s at it, he ought to pay back the Vikings for the $20M he stole from them in 2010.

  48. At least there haven’t been any made-up, wild-haired, unfounded speculations of Rodgers’ involvement.

    Yet.

  49. As a criminal defense attorney, I agree that often the best approach is to not make statements, because they may later be twisted and used to fit the prosecution’s case.

    Having said that, I disagree with the assertion that this statement should trigger further investigation. His statement relates to his knowledge. He echoed the auditor in not knowing about this purported reason for payment. Because he has agreed to pay it back, it will be even harder for a prosecutor to prove intent to permanently deprive, or that he took the money with knowledge of wrong doing. I think what his statement does is it provides an innocent explanation to clear his name. He merely explains he did TV ads. It will be hard for a prosecutor to use that against him, because he’s attributed the payments to those services, as opposed to being for services that were NOT rendered. So, as a Favre fan, and as a criminal defense attorney, I respectfully disagree that this statement should trigger investigation. I think it would be hard to even use this statement in a prosecution, despite the twisting a prosecutor would try to do with it (so long as he actually did the TV ads).

  50. Aaron Rodgers donated a million dollars of his own money for wild fire relief and plenty of people took shots at him for doing it just to get attention.

    Brett Favre receives $1.1 million as payment from a “non-profit” for doing not much of value (if he even did anything) and people bend over backwards to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Being well-liked certainly pays off in the court of public opinion.

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