In a development that could affect Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, a key figure in an open Mississippi welfare misappropriation scandal entered into a plea deal with state and federal prosecutors on Thursday.
In a deal announced by the US Justice Department, John Davis, the former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, pleaded guilty on Thursday for his role in a scheme that diverted more than $70 million in welfare funds earmarked to support the state. misdirected. Most needy residents. In exchange for the plea, Davis is expected to cooperate with investigators who are seeking additional prosecution in the scandal.
Davis’ cooperation is seen as important to state and federal prosecutors, who are seeking information about other potential individuals involved in various stages of misdirection of funds. The investigation includes several unidentified (for now) co-conspirators with Davis.
Favre has come under media scrutiny for nearly $8.1 million in welfare funds that were allegedly given to entities linked to the former NFL star. Of that amount, $1.1 million went directly to Favre for public speaking, which he reportedly did not do, as well as $5 million to construct a volleyball building at Favre’s alma mater, the University of Southern Mississippi, and another. Pharmaceutical startup for $2 million one Favre has added as an investor.
Favre paid $1.1 million for incomplete speaking engagements—though not accrued interest sought by prosecutors—and his attorney has denied the former NFL quarterback that welfare funds were being tapped for any of his efforts. With his plea agreement, Davis can answer any questions for prosecutors about Favre’s level of knowledge or influence, as well as shed light on any meetings regarding funds that went to entities linked to the former NFL star. could.
According to the DOJ’s announcement, Davis directed his office to “provide federal funds to two non-profit organizations and then direct the two organizations to fraudulently provide contracts to various entities and individuals for social services that have never been provided.” were not done.”
As part of his plea, Davis is expected to disclose how this alleged fraud was established and that the precise individuals benefited. Such cooperation is considered a massive coup for state and federal prosecutors, who accused Davis as the central facilitator in the misappropriation scandal. Davis was indicted on two dozen charges for his role in the misappropriation and faces the prospect of nearly 50 years in prison, convicted on all counts. Instead, with his cooperation and plea agreement for some charges, he is expected to face only a fraction of the time behind bars in exchange for cooperation that may involve other figures.
Davis’ guilty plea is the second major settlement in the case by prosecutors, after nonprofit manager Nancy New, who in April pleaded guilty and pleaded guilty to 13 offenses related to the investigation. New was accused of pushing a nonprofit that was used to move welfare funds for various projects into an enterprise that state and government officials have historically described as “well-connected”. For the plot was described as welfare.
In addition to Favre, prosecutors are also investigating former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. The report published by Mississippi Today detailed alleged texts linking Bryant, Davis, New and Favre to funds sought for a volleyball construction project in Southern Miss. Among those materials, Bryant reportedly directed Favre to write a funding proposal that would be approved by the Mississippi Department of Human Services. Bryant has denied any recollection of using welfare funds for inappropriate projects.