Ricky Williams and other pro athletes defrauded out of millions
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – The Department of Justice has arrested a woman accused of posing as a financial advisor to bilk former New Orleans Saint Ricky Williams and other professional athletes out of millions of dollars.
Peggy Ann Fulford faces charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property and money laundering stemming from an eight-count indictment handed down by a Houston grand jury on December 13.
Fulford, who used to live in Houston, was arrested today in New Orleans, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.
Using a variety of aliases, Fulford is accused of posing as a Harvard-educated financial advisor and money manager for Williams and other professional athletes.
Fulford would offer to manage the expenses of her victims for free, and would promise to use her client’s money exclusively to pay their bills, including income tax payments. She would also offer to make retirement investments for them, according to the allegations.
Fulford instead allegedly diverted millions of dollars from her victims, which she then laundered through dozens of bank accounts to pay for her own personal expenses.
Fulford allegedly communicated with victims in person, by phone and by email, inducing them to open or give her access to bank accounts which she raided and used for personal expenses such as luxury cars, real estate, jewelry and airline tickets.
If convicted of either the mail or wire fraud charges, Fulford faces up to 20 years in federal prison. She also faces a maximum of 10 years if convicted of money laundering and interstate transportation of stolen property charge.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Belinda Beek is prosecuting the case.