Former NFL star Brett Favre is currently under investigation for an alleged multimillion-dollar welfare fraud scheme in Mississippi. The Onion looks back at the biggest cases of welfare fraud in U.S. history.
1798: Thomas Jefferson uses his political influence to acquire 10 slaves earmarked for distribution among the poor.
1860: Pony Express commits massive corporate welfare fraud by claiming all their horses as child dependents.
1959: State of Dakota discovered to have created false “North” and “South” identities to receive millions in fraudulent funds over decades.
1962: Walmart’s entire business model.
1988: Welfare queen Nancy Reagan lives off taxpayer dime for eight years.
1997: Colorado woman Kendra Wieger fakes being multinational arms manufacturer to scam Defense Department out of $18 billion.
2000: Johnny Knoxville and friends create Jackass franchise in brazen attempt to get rich off avoidable disability checks.
2007: Wisconsin man Mark Whitner illegally collects dead neighbor’s Social Security checks for decades, eventually amassing tens of tens of dollars.
2012: Anne Hathaway collects $200,000 in welfare while preparing for role as poverty-stricken single mother in Les Misérables.
2022: Brett Favre’s alleged participation in the diversion of welfare funds into a college volleyball stadium uncovered when he begins driving a flashy $20 million volleyball.