Ex-Mississippi governor ordered to pay 1.1M to NFL star Brett Favre in welfare fraud case

(Video Credit: WJTV 12 News)

Former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has allegedly been implicated in massive welfare fraud, ordering payments totaling $1.1 million to former NFL star Brett Favre, according to court documents.

Nancy New and her son Zachery ran a nonprofit group and an education company in Mississippi. They pleaded guilty in an April civil proceeding to welfare misspending and have cut a deal to testify against others including Bryant in exchange for spending no time in state prison. She was facing a 10-year prison sentence and her son five years on bribery and fraud charges according to Mississippi Today.

The state auditor is calling it Mississippi’s largest public corruption case in the past two decades involving more than $77 million in diverted welfare funds according to Fox News.

The Mississippi Department of Human Services is suing New civilly, asking the court to make her repay $19.4 million in funds. The department alleges New and 37 other defendants, including Favre, violated federal rules when they spent or received money from a federal block grant called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. New accused Bryant of ordering her to make the payments to Favre.

(Video Credit: 16 WAPT News Jackson)

Bryant is denying the charges against him in a civil case allegation that is part of a lawsuit brought against New’s former company, Mississippi Community Education Center Inc., by the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

“These allegations made against Gov. Bryant are false,” a statement from the former governor declared. “Every claim against these individuals was discovered and prosecuted as a result of an investigation Gov. Bryant requested of the state auditor.”

Bryant’s spokesperson Denton Gibbes denied New’s allegation, “She’s pointing her finger at everybody but the Easter Bunny. This is just legal hogwash.”

Bryant is not facing any criminal charges. New is evidently a friend of his wife, former First Lady Deborah Bryant, according to WDAM7.

Shirley Hampton, who owns the Jamboree Child Development Center, claims that some of the funds were supposed to go to her daycare center. She told WAPT-TV the funds were needed as she struggled to keep the doors open.

“We’ve always said it’s trickling up higher than… Nancy New, but it’s trickling up a lot higher than that,” Hampton asserted.

New claims that Favre was paid for speaking and promotional events and “business partner development.”

Her attorneys assert that she was acting at the direction of state officials in the awarding of various contracts and allocation of funds.

“Governor Phil Bryant directed defendant to provide funds to Brett Favre, and defendant caused (Mississippi Community Education Center) to contract with Favre Enterprises, Inc., in the amount of $1,100,000 in consideration for Favre speaking at events, keynote speaking, radio and promotional events, and business partner development. Favre performed services pursuant to this agreement,” court documents state, according to WAPT.

Favre is not facing any criminal charges either. He repaid the funds after he was ordered to do so by State Auditor Shad White. He claims he had no idea the money came from welfare funds.

The Hall of Fame quarterback categorically denied an accusation by White that he didn’t show up for speaking events. Favre also noted that he has a Wisconsin-based charity where he resides that raises millions of dollars for struggling families.

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