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Tuesday, June 11, 2024 | Back issues
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Ricky Williams Claims Adviser Took Millions

HOUSTON (CN) - Retired NFL star Ricky Williams sued his financial adviser, claiming she drained $6 million from his account, impersonated his wife to the IRS, and lied about being an attorney and a graduate of Harvard Business School.

Errick "Ricky" Williams sued Peggy Fulford and King Management Group and Associates LLC, in Federal Court. Fulford also goes by the names Peggy Williams, Peggy King and Peggy Ann Berard, according to the lawsuit.

Williams and his wife claim that Fulford has had control of "the vast majority" of his income since 2007 - more than $11 million.

He claims that Fulford and her management group have provided him only "sporadic and potentially falsified statements" of his finances, and refused to give complete reports despite his repeated demands.

Fulford and her company operate out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and she is its registered agent, according to the lawsuit.

"In 2007, Mr. Williams entered into an oral agreement to have Ms. Fulford and King Management manage plaintiffs' assets," the lawsuit states. "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."

Williams claims that he and Fulford set up a joint checking account at a SunTrust Bank in Orlando, and that without his knowledge or permission, she got, and used, a debit card for it.

Williams and his wife never got debit cards for the account, though, he says. He claims that Fulford also set up at least six other accounts at SunTrust, under several names, including King Management.

He claims that Fulford drained his account of $6 million, through wire transfers, debits, checks and cash.

"These transfers included, but were not limited to, 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 says he discovered this after the IRS contacted him in August 2012 and asked for more information about his 2010 tax return.

He claims that Fulford contacted the IRS for him the next month, and "fraudulently represented herself to be Mr. Williams's wife," co-plaintiff Peggy Williams. He claims that Fulford "consistently maintained that she had substantiation for all deductions on Mr. Williams's tax return, but consistently failed to supply them. On or about December 2012, Ms. Fulford abruptly ceased communications with the IRS" - leaving him with no way to substantiate the $782,983 in deductions she had claimed, and an IRS penalty of $350,000 for that year alone, according to the lawsuit.

He claims that the last he heard from Fulford, she told him that his and wife's sole asset was a $1.9 million investment in a private equity fund - which they cannot draw on until 2017. And he says he can't even prove that he owns that.

He seeks a restraining order and injunction, an accounting, and actual and punitive damages for theft, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty.

He is represented by Carlton Wilde Jr., with Crady, Hewett & McCulley.

Williams, a Heisman Trophy winner, was an electrifying runner, known for his eccentric personal life as well as his exploits on the field. He enthusiastically endorsed medical marijuana, claiming it did more for him than Paxil.

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