Peggy Ann Fulford was a fraudster who befriended rich and famous sports stars – and then ripped them off.
She later set up King Management Group and befriended successful sports stars, particularly basketball legend Dennis Rodman.
Rodman became close friends with Fulford and took a lot of convincing she had in fact ripped him off.
Fulford’s plan was to offer to help manage the stars investments for free to help them build wealth and protect them from scammers.
She claimed to have graduated from Harvard and attained her wealth from successful business dealings.
What was the scam?
Her clients gave Fulford complete control of their finances to allow her to spend and invest money on their behalf.
She would then typically set up two bank accounts, a joint account for living expenses and a separate bank account for investment, which she alone controlled.
Much of the money from the investment account would be diverted to her via a web of shell companies.
She also looted money from the joint account to fund her lifestyle, often more lavish than that of her clients.
The amounts she stole included:
- NBA guard Travis Best: $1.40 million
- NFL running back Ricky Williams: $3.01 million
- NBA forward Dennis Rodman: $1.24 million
- NFL running back Lex Hilliard: $132,123
What happened next?
Fulford blamed shortfalls in her clients’ accounts on administrative errors or even on their own spending habits.
But over time, the shortfalls got bigger.
Clients ended up ensuring payments and not paying tax.
They were sued for child support and Rodman even had his electricity cut off because his bill wasn’t paid.
The show American Greed looked at the scam and it was revealed Rodman’s $5 million life insurance was about to lapse because the payments weren’t being made.
His assistant, AJ Bright told the show: “She was the master of ‘the check is in the mail,'”
Football player Ricky Williams and his then-wife Kristin Barnes were also dragged into the mess.
The couple were hit with a tax bill of $377,000, which accused them of taking false deductions.
The pair had never laid eyes on the tax return.
They then discovered they didn’t even have an account with the bank.
It transpired Fulford had used a joint account in Florida to take $6 million from the couple.
The couple launched a civil suit against Fulford, which alerted the FBI.
It became clear Fulford had lied about her degree from Harvard and that she was constantly wiring money between different clients’ accounts and her own.
Another NFL star, Lex Hilliard, was ripped off.
It was a transaction involving Hilliard that led the FBI to know they had Fulford, according to agent Jim Hawkins on “American Greed.”
Rodman was close friends with Fulford and took a lot of convincing she had stolen millions from him.
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Arrest and jail
Fulford was arrested in 2016, as it was revealed she was in the process of ripping off a local doctor.
A check for $197,000 was found in Fulford’s home, having convinced the doctor to invest in a real estate scheme that didn’t ever exist.
After making a deal, Fulford admitted one count of interstate transportation of stolen property .
She was released on bond, and managed to con another man into investing $25,000 in a medical business.
The man was rather surprised when he Googled her name and saw her mugshot.
Fulford was jailed for 10 years and ordered to pay back millions to her victim.
At least $5.8m was stolen from Fulford’s clients’ accounts, though only a few of her victims pressed charges as there was little chance of any money being recovered.