A New Orleans woman who is expected to plead guilty to stealing millions of dollars from Ricky Williams, Dennis Rodman and other pro athletes was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of bilking $174,000 from yet another associate.
Peggy Ann Fulford is accused of persuading a friend, Dr. Joseph Boucree, to give her the money so that they could buy the former Lower 9th Ward campus of Holy Cross High School and redevelop it into an assisted living community for the elderly, even though the property was never put up for sale, according to records filed in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court.
Boucree, a Slidell surgeon, demanded the money back after he learned that Fulford, 59, had been arrested in late 2016 on the charges involving Williams and Rodman. She gave him a check reimbursing him for the investment but allegedly issued an order canceling the check before he could collect the money.
New Orleans police on Jan. 25 obtained a warrant to arrest Fulford. She was jailed on counts of felony theft and issuing a worthless check after surrendering to authorities.
Fulford is due in federal court in Houston on Thursday on charges that she posed as a financial consultant for Williams, Rodman, former NBA player Travis Best and former NFL pro Lex Hilliard before bilking them of millions.
Federal court records in Houston strongly suggest that a New Orleans woman is poised to plead guilty in a case in which she stands accused of …
Thursday's hearing is a rearraignment, which is often scheduled when a defendant is ready to plead guilty. But it is not clear to which specific charges Fulford may plead guilty or what kind of sentence she may receive.
Fulford's bail in the New Orleans case was set at $750 on Tuesday, and records that night suggested she was in the process of posting it to secure her release from jail.
Magistrate Court Commissioner Albert Thibodeaux gave Fulford permission to travel to Houston for her court hearing, which was supposed to be held earlier this month but has been postponed twice.
Fulford, who has worked for financial management firms in Texas, Georgia and Florida, misled her clients about having studied law and business at Harvard, federal authorities alleged in an eight-count indictment last year.
Multiple athletes paid the New Orleans native to handle their bills, income taxes and retirement investments, among other things. She is accused instead of pocketing millions of dollars for herself to buy cars, jewelry, airline tickets and land.
The only victim named in the indictment was Williams, who won college football's Heisman Trophy before playing for the New Orleans Saints at the beginning of his NFL career.
Agents and other representatives later identified at least three other sports figures they say Fulford defrauded, including Rodman, who helped win NBA titles with the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls.
Fulford could face 30 years in prison if she is convicted as charged of wire fraud, mail fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property and money laundering.
She has pleaded not guilty for now. Before her arrest Tuesday in New Orleans, she was out on an unsecured $25,000 bond in connection with the federal case.
According to police, Boucree nearly lost much more money to Fulford.
Before the news about the federal charges made him doubt Fulford's intentions, he had given her $371,000 for the fraudulent retirement home project. Fortunately, $197,000 of that was in a check he managed to cancel before she could cash it, records show.
This post was updated after it was initially published to include information resulting from a bail hearing.