Former VAC Director Pleads Not Guilty

Panama City, Fla. - The former director of the Visual Arts Center pleaded not guilty to a nine-count indictment Tuesday afternoon in federal court.  

Prosecutors charged Vicki Middlemas with five counts of wire fraud and four counts of fraud in the case. 

Middlemas is accused of using her position to steal money from the VAC and the city. 

The indictment states she forged invoices from a construction company and then using the false invoices to pay herself instead of the company.

She's also accused of spending more than $7,000 on a VAC debit card for a vacation property, and claimed the rental charges were for a painting class, a fundraiser, and a preview party.   

Prosecutors also say she concealed the fact that the VAC lost its tax-exempt status. 

According to news stories from 2015, Middlemas claimed to the media that the IRS made a mistake when they revoked the tax exempt status. Middlemas is also accused of falsifying her tax returns. 

Prosecutors are pursuing criminal forfeiture against Middlemas' assets in this case. 

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