The state of Mississippi is suing two companies backed by former NFL quarterback Brett Favre for allegedly taking millions of dollars in welfare funds, according to ESPN. Prevacus, PresolMD, and their founder, Jake VanLandingham, were reportedly facing substantial debt over the years and pushing investors to get their drugs out in the open market for sale.
The product in development was a nasal spray to treat concussions and a cream to prevent or limit them. Both companies were alleged to have lied to their investors about the effectiveness of their treatments to gain a large amount of money.
According to the lawsuit, the state of Mississippi alleges VanLandingham and his companies received more than $2.1 million in state welfare funds from the Mississippi government. Favre is a top investor in Prevacus, putting $1 million of his own money into both companies. VanLandingham and Favre promoted the drugs on various television and radio appearances. However, it was discovered that no actual research had been conducted on humans regarding their effectiveness.
The former quarterback is also accused of convincing Prevacus owner Jake Vanlandingham to offer Gov. Phil Bryant stock shares in Prevacus in exchange for the $2.15 million. Favre is already in trouble for charges for allegedly using $5 million in state funds to finance the building of a new volleyball stadium at his alma mater, the University of Southern Mississippi. Although, he maintains he never knew the money was taking away from low-income families in his home state.
VanLandingham told ESPN, “I had no idea this was welfare money, and I’ve always been an upstanding person when it comes to research.” The NFL stated they were contacted, but did not use any of the products with their teams.
“The league office was contacted by this organization but provided no funding or any resources in support of its efforts.” The spokesperson added that neither Miller nor Sills was an advisory member or associate for Prevacus, and the league was unaware of any teams using samples of PresolMD’s cream.