A former executive director of the Pass up Florida Scholarship Program has been indicted on fraud prices immediately after prosecutors claimed she stole at minimum $100,000 from the corporation and expended it on personalized purchasing, maid cleansing assistance and on the internet relationship fees.
Mary Wickersham, 76, manufactured her initial physical appearance in federal court docket in Miami on a seven-count indictment charging her with defrauding corporate and personal donors, the U.S. Attorney’s Office environment Southern District of Florida declared Tuesday.
The Pass up Florida Scholarship Software is a non-for-profit that raises money to present scholarships to younger women of all ages through pageants.
Whilst serving as govt director, Wickersham allegedly opened a organization beneath the title “Miss Florida” in December 2011 and utilised it to open up a organization account at Financial institution of The united states, all with out notifying the Board of Administrators of the Miss Florida Scholarship Application, in accordance to the indictment.
She then allegedly solicited donations and contributions on behalf of the method from its sponsors and donors, but then “altered donor checks” and deposited the dollars into her “Miss Florida” account, the indictment explained.
“Wickersham utilised the funds to shell out for her private bills, including utilities, browsing, household goods, maid cleansing support, on the web courting fees, and dining out, it is alleged,” prosecutors claimed.
Wickersham — who is also regarded as Mary Sullivan, and Mary Harvey — allegedly defrauded the Children’s Wonder Community, which raises dollars for hospitals, and the Everglades Foundation, which seeks to restore and safeguard the Everglades.
She allegedly included terms “Miss Florida Pageant” on donation checks made payable to Children’s Wonder Network, to deposit resources into the rip-off account, the Florida Section of Law Enforcement (FDLE) explained in a news launch.
The condition company started its circumstance soon after getting facts from the Miss out on Florida Scholarship Software about lacking funds.
“Agents think Wickersham stole at minimum $100,000 in donations,” the FDLE said in the launch.
She was arrested Tuesday on seven counts of wire fraud, according to the agency.
“Ms. Wickersham not only stole charitable donations from the Scholarship Plan, but also from two local charitable companies and a neighborhood small business affiliated with Miss Florida. Agents imagine the rip-off transpired over many yrs,” FDLE Miami Specific Agent in Charge Troy Walker said.
Lawyer information for Wickersham was not instantly readily available.
The Miss Florida Scholarship Plan did not promptly reply to NBC News’ ask for for remark.