A timeline of Brett Favre's involvement in Mississippi fraud case
The scandal centers around federal money from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families fund, distributed as block grants to each of the 50 states. It potentially dates back to 2016, when Human Services executive
Davis and New have both been arrested for their involvement in what follows. Favre and his legal representative have denied wrongdoing.
Most of this timeline relies on reporting from
Favre, interested in helping to fund a new volleyball facility for his alma mater at the
Among those in attendance were members of the USM athletics staff, DHS director
Favre sends a text to New asking, "If you were to pay me is there anyway the media can find out where it came from and how much?" followed by reassurance from New that those things wouldn't be made public and, a day later, that
New's MCEC pays the first lump sum of
Construction begins on the new volleyball facility, known as the "Wellness Center," initially projected as a
Favre, who became involved with a biomedical startup called Prevacus in 2014, advised the company's founder,
Later texts show that Bryant used his political clout to help get the startup off the ground by finding investors and gaining favor with federal regulators and was offered stock upon his departure from the governor position in 2020. Bryant denies ever accepting the stock.
Still needing more money to finish the volleyball center, Favre reaches out hoping to meet with Davis and Bryant about more funding.
In a separate meeting with VanLandingham, Favre and New, the parties agree to direct grant funding to Prevacus, toward its development of an anti-concussion treatment. A payment of
Davis, the director of the
When Favre inquires how Davis' departure might impact the volleyball facility, Bryant texts back: "I will handle that... long story but had to make a change. But I will call Nancy and see what it will take."
Summer 2019: Volleyball facility still a topic in text messages
A text exchange from Bryant to New: "Just left
In August, a text exchange suggests the new volleyball facility could even be named after Bryant. Bryant has denied steering funds illegally to the project.
Favre, New, Bryant and Freeze meet to discuss progress on the volleyball facility again.
Two days later, New receives a letter informing her that the welfare agency was increasing her TANF subgrant by
Separately, now ex-governor Bryant has a text exchange with
"Now that you're unemployed I'd like to give you a company package for all your help," VanLandingham writes in a
"Sounds good," responds Bryant, who was getting ready to take over a private-sector lobbying firm. "Where would be the best place to meet. I am now going to get on it hard..."
"The funds that were illegally obtained in this case were intended to help the poorest among us," White said. "The funds were instead taken by a group of influential people for their own benefit, and the scheme is massive. It ends today."
Davis and Smith are accused of manufacturing documents to funnel money to DiBiase from TANF; the invoices indicated the money compensated DiBiase for teaching classes about drug abuse, but DiBiase was in a luxury rehab facility for his own drug use and did not perform the services.
A report from Mississippi Today reveals that
Bryant, the former governor, cuts ties with Prevacus following the arrests.
First half of 2020: Focus on Favre accelerates
In March, Favre denies that he discussed the volleyball center with Bryant in a text to Mississippi Today.
In May, an audit reveals that
"Upon a cursory review of those dates, auditors were able to determine that the individual contracted did not speak nor was he present for those events."
Favre denies that he was a no-show.
Favre repays the state of
Favre is sued by the
Less than two weeks later, Pigott is fired from the case.
Pigott says he believes his firing was political; Human Services head
Texts available in court filings between
"No one ever told me, and I did not know, that funds designated for welfare recipients were going to the University or me," Favre stated. "I tried to help my alma mater USM, a public
The article also quotes Mississippi State Auditor
"Now, whether or not
"There are no documents that suggest that he knew the precise laws and regulations around TANF funds. But he did know it was government money, and he did know that it was coming from this agency. And of course, that agency is the agency that is responsible for handling programs that are geared toward helping the poor."
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