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Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre has broken his silence over allegations that he was involved in the misuse of $77 million in funds meant to help needy families in his home state of Mississippi to build a venue at his alma mater for volleyball.

Brett Favre made a diffuse statement to Fox News on Tuesday evening (Oct. 11). “I have been unjustly smeared in the media,” the statement begins. “I have done nothing wrong, and it is past time to set the record straight. No one ever told me, and I did not know, that funds designated for welfare recipients were going to the University or me. I tried to help my alma mater USM, a public Mississippi state university, raise funds for a wellness center. My goal was and always will be to improve the athletic facilities at my university.”

The National Football League Hall-of-Famer was seeking money to help build a volleyball venue at the University of Southern Mississippi. He sought the aid of Nancy New, who ran the Mississippi Community Education Center. The charity was responsible for distributing $77 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds assigned by the federal government. Favre, along with New and former Mississippi Department of Human Services John Davis, allegedly worked to take $5 million from those funds.

Favre has also been accused of agreeing to speak at public engagements for a non-profit and being a no-show while pocketing $1 million. The former governor of Mississippi, Phil Bryant, was also allegedly involved as the local paper Mississippi Today, published text messages between himself and the former quarterback on how to write a funding proposal that would be accepted by the welfare agency.

Favre’s attorney, Eric Herschmann said of the scandal: “He had no idea that the payment came from [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families], and had he known he never would have accepted that money.” But unearthed text messages between Favre and New showed that he was concerned about the media learning of the deal: “If you were to pay me is there anyway the media can find out where it came from and how much?”

New has since pleaded guilty to four counts of bribing a public official, two counts of fraud against the government, and six counts of wire fraud. Davis pled guilty to conspiring to defraud the state of Mississippi. Favre has not been criminally charged with any offenses related to the fraud scheme.