Houston woman indicted, accused of scamming NFL players

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A Houston woman is accused of scamming Ricky Williams, former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL player out of millions of dollars to fund her own lavish lifestyle.

Williams, a former Longhorn, Heisman Trophy winner and NFL star, may finally get some financial justice. The US Attorney's Office has charged his former financial adviser with defrauding him out of millions of dollars. Peggy Fulford can face up to 20 years in federal custody if found guilty.

"She engaged in wire fraud," said Eyewitness News legal analyst Joel Androphy, who read over the charges. "She defrauded Ricky Williams out of his life savings."

The indictment alleges that Fulford told a web of lies to Williams and other professional athletes who she signed on as clients. Prosecutors say Fulford told her clients that she had a degree from Harvard and was well versed in money management.

In court documents, the government said Williams and Fulford opened a joint bank account, which she allegedly used as her personal bank account.

"This is just probably a very small part of what goes on in the professional sports world. There's a lot of people who prey on professional athletes," said Androphy.

The criminal indictment is years in the making. In 2013, Williams filed a civil lawsuit, alleging that Fulford used her client's millions to pay credit cards, mortgages, and conduct unauthorized wire transfers. The suit alleged that Fulford also failed to file proper tax returns for Williams, as was part of their oral agreement. As a result the IRS fined Williams more than $377,000. That suit was transferred to Florida and then dismissed in 2014.

This criminal indictment could have very serious implications. Fulford was arrested and made an appearance in federal court in New Orleans on Friday.

Her first appearance in Houston is scheduled for December 22.

Calls to Williams' attorney was not returned.
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