May 12, 2022 - Sports

Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre sued by state of Mississippi

Brett Favre

Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Brett Favre was sued this week by the Mississippi Department of Human Services for his alleged role in a yearslong welfare scheme.

Why it matters: $77 million worth of funding intended to help Mississippi's poorest residents was misspent in what an auditor has called the state's largest public corruption case in 20 years.

Catch up quick: In 2014, Favre began working to find investors for a biomedical startup, Prevacus, which claimed to have found a treatment for concussions.

  • By 2018, Favre had invested $1 million but the drug was no closer to market, so he used his friendship with then-Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant to push the project forward.
  • "It's 3rd and long and we need you to make it happen!!" Favre wrote in one of hundreds of texts obtained by Mississippi Today. "I will open a hole," replied Bryant, doubling down on the football metaphors.
  • That "hole" helped Favre secure $2.1 million in investments for Prevacus, which has since gone dormant, from government funding earmarked for welfare projects. And it didn't stop there.

The big picture: The lawsuit also alleges Favre secured $5 million for a volleyball center at his alma mater Southern Miss (his daughter played on the team) and $1.1 million for himself — all via the welfare fund.

  • Favre has repaid the $1.1 million, which he received for no-show speaking gigs, but the suit demands he also repay the $2.1 million.
  • As for the $5 million, Mississippians are left to wonder: "How in the world is the volleyball court going to help struggling families?"

Zoom out: This isn't the first time Favre has been sued for financial dealings. In 2018, a VC firm claimed he misled them about failed social media app Sqor Sports, though the lawsuit was dismissed.

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