Sports legends like Dennis Rodman earn salaries the rest of us can only dream of, which means they become targets for people looking to exploit their vast wealth.
Rodman was one of basketball’s biggest names in the 1990s and 2000s.
He was a larger-than-life character who had a string of famous partners and a bizarre friendship with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
He has also worked as a pro-wrestler and tried his hand at acting – in two movies that were panned by critics.
If you add in his battles with alcohol, you might not be surprised to find out Rodman was targeted by a cynical fraudster.
However, the flamboyant star wasn’t the only sportsperson ripped off by Peggie Anne Fulford.
Peggy Ann Fulford’s sports star con
Peggy Ann Fulford is now serving a 10-year prison sentence for her crimes.
She portrayed herself as a Harvard-educated financial advisor who had been very successful in looking after the money of wealthy clients.
Fulford specifically targeted high-level sports people and super-rich individuals, promising to help them secure their financial futures.
After gaining their trust, she would gain full access to their bank accounts and other assets.
Instead of making sound financial decisions, she used their cash to fund her own personal expenses and splashed out on luxury cars, real estate, and expensive jewelery.
Who were her victims?
Rodman was the most high-profile victim, but she also scammed:
- Ricky Williams: Former NFL running back who played for the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints.
- Travis Best: Former NBA player.
- Lex Hilliard: Former NFL player.
- Several other unnamed professional athletes
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How was she caught?
Clients started to notice shortfalls in their accounts, which Fulford batted off as administrative errors.
However, the shortfalls got bigger and some of the clients ended up not paying any tax.
The payments they were supposed to be making, were not being made.
This means some were sued after their child support payments stopped.
Rodman even had his electricity cut off because his bill wasn’t paid.
He then discovered his $5 million life insurance was about to expire because the payments weren’t being made.
Ricky Williams lost $6 million
Ricky Williams was also hit with an unexpected tax bill of $377,000, which accused him and his wife of making false deductions.
Their suspicions were raised as they had first never seen the tax return, and then found they didn’t have an account with the bank.
It later transpired Fulford had used another account in Florida to steal $6 million from the couple.
The couple launched a civil action against Fulford, which caught the eye of the FBI.
Another NFL star, Lex Hilliard, was also ripped off.
It became clear Fulford had lied about her degree from Harvard and was wiring money between her different clients accounts and her own.
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Fulford was arrested in 2016.
Police found a check for $197,000 in her home, which was part of another scam where she persuaded a local doctor to pump money into a real estate scheme that didn’t exist.
She made a deal after admitting one count of interstate transportation of stolen property.
Clearly having learned the error of her ways, she managed to scam a medical business out of $25,000 while she was released on bond.
The business owner was left in shock when he Googled Fulford’s name – and was greeted with her police mugshot.
Fulford was charged with multiple counts of wire fraud, mail fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property.
She was jailed for 10 years.
The court ordered she pay back to pay back millions to her victims.
However, it is thought many more people didn’t press charges as there was little chance of the stolen money being recovered.