A concussion drug company that is backed by former Minnesota Vikings quarterback, and at the center of a welfare fraud case in Mississippi, is owned by American soccer legend, and one of the most popular players in the sport's history.
The National Soccer Hall of Fame member was a member of the sports advisory board for Odyssey Health, a drug company that is trying to develop a spray to treat concussions. The top investor at Odyssey Health is the actor.
$2.1 million that was supposed to go to welfare recipients was instead directed to Odyssey Health according to a civil lawsuit. Many of the case's details were reported by Mississippi Today when the company was linked to the fraud case.
Wambach said in an email that she first became aware of "disturbing information" about Odyssey Health when she was contacted by the sports network. She said she supported the company because she wanted to make a difference.
"Immediately after learning of this new information, I began the process to completely remove myself from any involvement with Prevacus/Odyssey Health Inc., a process that I insisted be complete by the end of the day," Wambach said.
The connection to the company was removed from the website by Thursday afternoon.
She didn't respond to questions about her financial stake in the company or her role on the board.
A product that could spare the next generation of athletes from the severe impact of concussion injuries that I suffered as a professional athlete is what I believe the company was being transparent about.
Chicago Cubs manager David Ross, former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner, and former football coach Steve Mariucci are among the members of the company's sports advisory board. None was available for comment.
Her brain would be used for research after she died. She appeared on "Today" two years later to discuss concussions and promote the company.
According to a lawsuit filed in May by the state of Mississippi, the former Green Bay Packers quarterback was the largest outside investor and stockholder in the company by the end of last year. He told Men's Health magazine that he had invested over a million dollars in Prevacus.
According to the lawsuit, in December of last year, the owner of a Mississippi nonprofit was urged to use funds from the state's Department of Human Services to invest in Prevacus. The lawsuit says that New and John Davis, then the state's human services director, were among those in attendance at the meeting.
According to the lawsuit, over the next 10 months, $2.1 million that had been earmarked for welfare recipients was diverted to the company for the purpose of securing "clinical trial sites" to be located in Mississippi. The money was used to buy stock in Prevacus for people at the center of the scheme.
The state alleges that a written agreement was part of a "sham" designed to hide financial benefits. Mississippi'sTemporary Assistance for Needy Families is an anti-poverty program.
One year after New, Davis and four other people were arrested in a fraud case, Odyssey announced it was acquiring a concussion drug.