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Press Release

Former Arts Center Director Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Wire and Tax Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Florida

PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA – Vicki Dyer Middlemas, 49, of Panama City, was sentenced Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Tallahassee to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to wire and tax fraud on August 2.  She was ordered to pay $44,696.00 in restitution.  The sentence was announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Between May 2010 and May 2015, Middlemas used her position as Executive Director of the Visual Arts Center of Northwest Florida (“the VAC”) in Panama City to fraudulently obtain money by writing herself checks on the VAC bank account and by making unauthorized charges for personal expenses on the VAC debit card.  Middlemas falsified invoices and VAC records to conceal her thefts and underreported her income and tax owed.

Middlemas’s personal, unauthorized expenditures from the VAC account included:

  • a custom painting of her daughter;
  • designer handbags, a dress, a trench coat, and other clothing;
  • perfumes;
  • air travel tickets to Las Vegas;
  • a down payment on annual Walt Disney World park passes for Middlemas and her three daughters;
  • Alys Beach vacation home rentals on two occasions;
  • tattoos;
  • rugs; and
  • payment of 27 cellular phone bills for her family.

The tax investigation revealed that the Forms 1040 and 1040X Middlemas filed for the years 2012 through 2015, grossly underreported the income Middlemas earned and embezzled from the VAC.

This case resulted from an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation, the Panama City Police Department, and the IRS Emerald Coast Financial Crimes Task Force.  Assistant United States Attorney Aine Ahmed prosecuted the case.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General.  To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website.  For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit


For more information, contact:
Amy Alexander, Public Information Officer

Updated December 21, 2018

Financial Fraud