Peggy Ann Fulford, 60, was sentenced to ten years in prison for defrauding former NBA players Travis Best and Dennis Rodman and NFL players Ricky Williams and Lex Hilliard out of millions of dollars. Fulford befriended the athletes before getting them to let her handle all their finances – including paying their bills, making retirement investments, and filing their tax returns. Hardly any of this took place. Instead, she diverted millions into dozens of personal bank accounts and used the money for personal expenses including real estate, jewelry, luxury cars and airline tickets.
Fulford’s clients believed she was a Harvard educated financial and had made millions on Wall Street by buying and selling hospitals or in real estate investments in the Bahamas. She charged no fee for her services, claiming she didn’t need the money and wanted to protect her clients from financial losses.
Fulford’s scheme was discovered when Williams got a notice from the IRS in 2012 asking for more information on his 2010 tax return. Williams was unable to account for the $782,983 in deductions Fulford had claimed, and was looking at a penalty from the IRS for 2010 of $350,000.
When asked by the judge how much of Ricky Williams’ NFL money Fulford got, Kristin Williams, Ricky’s ex-wife, answered, “All of it.”