Following an FDLE investigation, Mary Wickersham, 76, of Miami, was arrested this morning on seven counts of wire fraud. Wickersham, also known as Mary Harvey or Mary Sullivan, was the executive director of the Miss Florida Scholarship Program, Inc. The US Postal Inspection Service, Miami Division, assisted with the investigation.
FDLE Miami Special Agent in Charge Troy Walker said, “Ms. Wickersham not only stole charitable donations from the Scholarship Program, but also from two local charitable organizations and a local business affiliated with Miss Florida. Agents believe the scam occurred over several years. I appreciate the detailed work of our FDLE agents on this case and the assistance of the US Postal Inspection Service and US Attorney’s Office.”
Wickersham performed her executive director duties on a volunteer basis, and, in that role, she approached individuals urging them to make donations. FDLE began its case after receiving information from the Miss Florida Scholarship Program about missing funds.
Agents say that, in December 2011, Wickersham formed a scam Florida corporation named Miss Florida LLC without the knowledge of the Miss Florida Scholarship Program Board of Directors. She then used the scam corporation to open a bank account that only she could access. Wickersham began depositing some donations into the scam account and used the funds for her personal benefit.
In addition, the investigation found that Wickersham added the words “Miss Florida Pageant” on donation checks made payable to Children’s Miracle Network allowing her to deposit funds into the scam account. Agents believe Wickersham stole at least $100,000 in donations.
She turned herself in this morning to Miami Federal Detention Center. This case will be prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Florida.