HGTV’s Ben Napier Named in Fraud Scandal Court Docs

Explosive new proof within the $77 million welfare fraud scandal in Mississippi reveals textual content exchanges between ex-Governor Phil Bryant and former star NFL quarterback Brett Favre concerning the athlete’s dogged, and doubtlessly unlawful, efforts to fund the development of a volleyball stadium at his alma mater, the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), the place Favre’s daughter performed on the group. Amid the stunning revelations in new court docket filings was a textual content from Bryant stating that HGTV’s Ben Napier had helped with development efforts, sparking questions and issues in regards to the extent of his involvement. Here’s the newest…

Texts Between NFL Hall of Famer Brett Favre & Former Mississippi Governor Revealed in New Court Filing

In May 2022, 38 people and organizations together with Favre had been sued by the Mississippi Department of Human Services for allegedly spending roughly $77 million meant for state welfare packages to fund their very own private tasks. Favre is accused, in keeping with the New York Times, of allegedly utilizing hundreds of thousands to spend money on a biotech startup and to assist fund the volleyball stadium at USM.These allegations come after the NFL Hall of Famer already needed to pay again over $1 million in “talking charges” he obtained from the state for motivational speeches he by no means truly delivered.

On September 13, 2022, Mississippi Today revealed a bombshell report with never-before-seen textual content messages starting in 2017, revealing then-Governor Bryant was serving to Favre entry funds for the long run stadium, together with guiding him on wording to make use of in his proposal in order that it may very well be accepted by the Mississippi Department of Human Services. Investigative reporter Anna Wolfe wrote that the texts show they had been coordinating with nonprofit chief Nancy New, who has since pleaded responsible to 13 felony counts of fraud, allotting tens of hundreds of thousands of versatile federal welfare {dollars} to unrelated tasks.

New’s son, Zach New, additionally admitted in an April plea settlement to defrauding the federal government when he helped devise a plan to “disguise the USM development challenge as a ‘lease'” to get round strict guidelines towards utilizing welfare funds for “brick and mortar development tasks.”

Favre’s lawyer claims the soccer star knew nothing in regards to the unlawful funds. In 2020, when Mississippi Today requested Favre if he’d ever mentioned the volleyball stadium with Bryant, he merely mentioned “no.”

Erin Napier Scolds Investigative Reporter in Since-Deleted Tweet

Ben and Erin Napier

So the place or how does HGTV’s Ben Napier match into this mess? His spouse and “Home Town” co-host Erin Napier says nowhere.

On September 24, Bryant publicly shared dozens of texts between himself and Favre, attempting to show that he did not know the soccer star was utilizing welfare cash for the USM volleyball stadium. Mississippi Today’s Wolfe reported that the supplied texts from 2017 had been solely parts of their exchanges. Her reporting included the next excerpt:

Later, in May of 2018, Favre reached out once more to Gov. Bryant for assist establishing lockers for the ability.

“I’m nonetheless attempting to economize on [the] Vball facility,” Favre texted.

Favre even advised “the jail trade presumably as a builder.”

HGTV star and woodworker Ben Napier assisted with establishing the lockers on Bryant’s request, in keeping with the submitting.

After Wolfe tweeted that last sentence as a part of a thread concerning the breaking story, Erin replied in a since-deleted tweet.

She wrote, “Ben did not construct lockers for anybody. The governor texted asking him if he might advocate somebody to construct picket lockers, and Ben supplied a advice for a cupboard maker we work with. You ought to get whole readability on a reality like this earlier than you tweet it.”

Wolfe replied, “Thank you for responding! The public court docket file, attributed, and tweet say ‘assisted with’ locker development, which sounds constant along with your account. I’ll additional make clear now.”

On September 25, Wolfe issued a clarification on Twitter, writing: “The public court docket submitting says Ben Napier ‘assisted with locker development … at Gov. Bryant’s request’ which, in fact, there’s nothing mistaken with. In a now-deleted Tweet, his spouse Erin Napier says Ben merely gave the gov a advice for a cupboard maker.”She screenshot the change between her and Napier and included it in her clarification tweet.

The tweets about Ben’s connection to constructing lockers on the stadium has obtained many feedback from involved followers, together with one in response to Erin’s tweet which mentioned, “Lawyer right here. If I used to be Ben Napier and his spouse, I’d shut up and communicate to a swimsuit.”

Further Details About Bryant’s Request to Ben Napier Revealed

Ben Napier

In Wolfe’s clarification tweet in regards to the Napiers, she additionally hooked up a portion of the 70-page court docket doc filed days earlier than, which explicitly says, “Ben Napier assisted with locker development for the USM Volleyball Center at Governor Bryan’s request.”

The doc goes on to disclose that in 2019, Bryant tweeted help for the Napiers’ HGTV show and proceeded to ask Favre to retweet it.

It reads, “On January 12, 2019, Governor Bryant made the next put up on Twitter: ‘Don’t neglect the Season 3 premiere of Home Town, with Mississippians Ben and Erin Napier, comes on Monday evening at 8:00pm. We are happy with them for showcasing our nice state on a nation(al) scale.’ Bryant despatched a hyperlink to his tweet to Favre and requested, ‘Please retweet. Ben helped us with the lockers for the Volleyball Complex. He and Erin’s show in Laurel is doing nice. Thanks brother.’ Favre responded, ‘You wager.'”

On September 27, Wolfe tweeted new screenshots of the precise textual content change between Favre and Bryant from May 2018.

“Governor, this Brett,” Favre wrote. “I’m nonetheless attempting to economize on Vball facility. We have customer and Home lockers but to construct and Warren Hood is donating any lumber. If somebody would construct them on there spare time. Poncho talked about the jail trade presumably as a builder. The architects can present all specs.”

Bryant replied that he was turkey searching in Nebraska, however mentioned, “Let me get on it.”

Five days later, Bryant tweeted that he and his spouse had been in Laurel to current the Napiers with a decision commending their success and shared images from their meet-up. It’s not recognized whether or not the governor approached Ben in regards to the lockers throughout that assembly.

Bryant had supported the Napiers’ show earlier than. He and his spouse attended the premiere of the pilot in January 2016, in keeping with the Laurel Leader Call, earlier than they knew whether or not HGTV would decide up the show.


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