Retired Miami Dolphins star Ricky Williams is alleging in court that his former financial adviser ripped him off to the tune of $6 million.
According to a lawsuit filed in Houston, Williams trusted Fort Lauderdale-based Peggy Fulford with almost all of the money he made since 2007 -- more than $11 million. Williams alleges she lied and said she'd gone to Harvard in order to get his business, then stole money from his checking account, and when the IRS came calling, she impersonated his wife. She eventually left him with IRS fines and unable to access his assets, the lawsuit claims.
Fulford had access to one of Williams' checking accounts, got a debit card for the account without Williams' knowing, and then spent from it, according to the lawsuit. She used his account for "mortgage payments, credit card payments, retail purchases, miscellaneous debts and withdrawals, transfers via written checks, and wire transfers to unidentified accounts," according to the complaint.
Williams said he got a letter in August 2012 from the IRS asking for more information about his 2010 tax returns, which Fulford had prepared, and how he came to claim $782,983 in deductions. He forwarded the matter to Fulford to take care of, and she pretended to be his wife when dealing with the IRS. But ultimately she was unable to produce the necessary proof and then abruptly stopped communicating, leaving Williams stuck with a $350,000 penalty.
Williams' lawsuit says that Fulford gave him only sporadic -- and false -- information about his accounts and that, according to the last communication he had with her, she told him his only asset is a $1.9 million investment in a private equity fund. His lawyers are trying to determine whether that investment really exists and figure out how he could access it.
The lawsuit says Fulford had lied about her credentials: "Prior to, and consistently throughout the course of managing plaintiffs' assets, Ms. Fulford represented herself to be a graduate of Harvard Law School, licensed to practice law in the State of Texas, and a graduate Harvard Business School. Upon information and belief, there is no record of Ms. Fulford attending Harvard University in either graduate program, nor is there any record of Ms. Fulford's admission to the State Bar of Texas."
Wiliams' lawsuit says that Fulford uses multiple names -- Peggy Williams, Peggy King, and Peggy Ann Berard. Her company is King Management Group and Associates.
Williams is currently an assistant football coach at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio and does some work for ESPN.
Send story tips to Deirdra.Funcheon@BrowardPalmBeach.com
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