Former Miss Florida Scholarship Director 'stole $100,000 on fancy dining and shopping'

Former Miss Florida Scholarship Director ‘stole $100,000 on fancy dining and shopping’

The former Miss Florida scholarship director “stole $100,000 from the fund to pay for fancy dinners, fees for an online dating site, maid service and shopping.”

  • Former Miss Florida scholarship director Mary Wickersham, 76, has been charged with seven counts of defrauding corporate and private donors.
  • Between December 2011 and June 2018, Wickersham allegedly spent at least $100,000 belonging to the Miss Florida scholarship program.
  • Wickersham allegedly set up a fraudulent corporation in Florida called Miss Florida LLC and used the fake corporation to open a bank account that only she could access.
  • Wickersham then allegedly collected donations on behalf of the Miss Florida organization, but deposited the money into her Miss Florida account.
  • The money helped fund her glamorous lifestyle, paying for shopping trips, household goods, maid service, meals, online dating fees and other expenses.
  • Wickersham even allegedly stole from Children’s Miracle Network by adding the words “Miss Florida Pageant” to donation checks.

The former executive director of the Miss Florida scholarship program faces federal charges of stealing $100,000 in donations to pay for personal expenses and shopping trips.

Mary Wickersham, 76, who is also known as Mary Sullivan and Mary Harvey, turned herself in on Tuesday and was charged with seven counts of defrauding corporate and private donors, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida said Tuesday.

Federal prosecutors allege that between December 2011 and June 2018, Wickersham spent at least $100,000 belonging to the Miss Florida Scholarship Program, a non-profit organization that raises money to provide scholarships to young women through pageants and other charities for its personal expenses.

The money helped fund her glamorous lifestyle, prosecutors said, paying for shopping, household goods, maid service, meals, online dating fees and other expenses.

The judge set Wickersham’s bail at $100,000. If the 76-year-old man is found guilty on all charges, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

Former director of the Miss Florida Scholarship Program, 76-year-old Mary Wickersham (pictured), has been charged with seven counts of defrauding corporate and private donors.

Former director of the Miss Florida Scholarship Program, 76-year-old Mary Wickersham (pictured), has been charged with seven counts of defrauding corporate and private donors.

Federal prosecutors allege that between December 2011 and June 2018, Wickersham (center) spent at least $100,000 belonging to the Miss Florida scholarship program.

Federal prosecutors allege that between December 2011 and June 2018, Wickersham (center) spent at least $100,000 belonging to the Miss Florida scholarship program.

Wickersham, 76, who is also known as Mary Sullivan and Mary Harvey, turned herself in on Tuesday and was charged with seven counts of defrauding corporate and private donors.

Wickersham, 76, who is also known as Mary Sullivan and Mary Harvey, turned herself in on Tuesday and was charged with seven counts of defrauding corporate and private donors.

Wickersham allegedly set up a fraudulent corporation in Florida called Miss Florida LLC and used the fake corporation to open a bank account that prosecutors said could only be accessed by her.

Wickersham then allegedly collected donations on behalf of the Miss Florida organization, but instead of depositing the funds into the organization’s bank account, she deposited the money into her Miss Florida account at Bank of America.

Following her resignation in 2018, the scholarship program found “financial irregularities” in its accounts and contacted the authorities, the organization said in a statement.

“The current Board of Directors is acting in concert with the relevant legal authorities and with the Miss America National Program regarding this matter,” the Miss Florida Scholarship Program said in a statement. “We are in a good financial position and are making increasing progress in fundraising for scholarships.”

Wickersham also allegedly scammed the Everglades Foundation, one of Florida’s largest environmental organizations, a small local store called Ann Marie Boutique, and a former Miss Florida pageant identified only as LR in court documents, according to the Miami Herald.

Wickersham even allegedly stole from the Children’s Miracle Network, which raises money for hospitals, by adding the words “Miss Florida Pageant” to donation checks and depositing the funds into his fraudulent account, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) said.

Wickersham allegedly set up a fraudulent corporation in Florida called Miss Florida LLC and used the fake corporation to open a bank account that only she could access.

Wickersham allegedly set up a fraudulent corporation in Florida called Miss Florida LLC and used the fake corporation to open a bank account that only she had access to.

Wickersham even allegedly stole from Children's Miracle Network by adding the words

Wickersham even allegedly stole from Children’s Miracle Network by adding the words “Miss Florida Pageant” to donation checks and transferring funds to a fraudulent account.

‘RS. Wickersham stole charitable donations not only from the scholarship program, but also from two local charities and a local business associated with Miss Florida,” Miami Special Agent Troy Walker said.

“Agents believe the scam has been going on for several years,” he added.

She is due back in court on Monday at 10:00.

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