WCSO Deputies Travel to South Dakota for Fraud Case

By: WCSO Release
By: WCSO Release

Crawfordville, Florida - January 26, 2012 -

The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office sent the husband and wife team of Sgt. Ronald and Deputy Vicki Mitchell to South Dakota Sunday, Jan. 22 to bring a 40-year-old Crawfordville woman back to the county to face charges of grand theft and exploitation of the elderly in connection with an 18 month investigation by law enforcement officials in Wakulla and Leon counties, according to Sheriff Donnie Crum.

Teresa Mae Ehrisman left Florida during the investigation and law enforcement officials with the Hughes County Sheriff’s Office in Pierre, S.D. arrested the suspect on Jan. 5. She was held for WCSO deputies before waiving extradition which allowed her to be brought back to Florida to face the charges. The Mitchells drove to South Dakota in the dead of winter, waited out a severe storm in the St. Louis, Mo. area on the way north and eventually arrived back in Wakulla County on Wednesday, Jan. 25.

Detective Matt Helms of the WCSO Financial Crimes Unit discovered that Ehrisman was appointed by the Florida court system to be a guardian for the 77-year-old victim in August 2007. The victim was living in Crawfordville at the time and has since moved to an assisted living facility in Tallahassee.

The case was originally reported to the Leon County Sheriff’s Office because the victim moved to Tallahassee. But LCSO detectives determined that the alleged crimes actually took place in Wakulla County.

Temporary guardians were appointed by the court to represent the victim from October 2009 until May 2010 when a new guardian was appointed by the courts. She began researching the victim’s finances at that time.

During the time Ehrisman was guardian, checks were written to the suspect’s company for the same amount as others approved by the court indicating that Ehrisman was double paying herself. Other checks and transfers to the suspect were also discovered during the investigation. The total amount of missing money from the victim’s bank account totaled nearly $28,000.

“You can cross many state lines but when you commit fraud against the elderly that crosses the line,” said Undersheriff Maurice Langston. “We made apprehending this suspect a high priority despite the time and effort required to get her transported from Pierre to Crawfordville.”

The Mitchells traveled to Hughes County, S.D. after avoiding the storm, stayed overnight, picked up their suspect, encountered more favorable weather and transported her back to Crawfordville. Ehrisman is being held in the Wakulla County Jail under a $10,000 bond.

Ehrisman was 39 years old at the beginning of the investigation. “The WCSO also learned that after leaving Florida she became a caregiver again South Dakota,” Undersheriff Langston concluded.

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  • by Tan Man Location: Wakulla on Jan 27, 2012 at 03:58 AM
    They should have put her in a "Depends," cuffed her wrist' to her ankles and flown her here in 6 hours. Basic Prison Tranport, $300.
  • by Jim Location: Tallahassee on Jan 26, 2012 at 04:08 PM
    Cool road trip. The return trip was probably fun: "OK, fraudster, we are slowing down a little, so if you out the window on your right, you can see the world's biggest ball of yarn. There it is! Biggest ball of yarn. Yep. Get a good look......" 2 hours later....."Ok, fraudster, if you look out your window again, you can see the world's oldest pit barbecue joint. No, we're not stopping, but there it is......"
  • by Speedy Location: I-40 on Jan 26, 2012 at 03:26 PM
    Hey Winning-How could you be "winning" when you live in that godforsaken sewer?
  • by Shorty Location: Whooping Crane Pen on Jan 26, 2012 at 02:39 PM
    To H- are you dyslexic or stoned? As for the crime it's almost as bad as drunk driving and hit and run. What a waste of money! Driving to South Dakota? It would have been cheaper to fly! A $10,000 dollar bond? Big whoop, she should take some of the stolen money and bond out! Way to go WCSO! And one more thing-I'm surprised Helms put his donut down long enough to accomplish this great feat!
  • by smiley Location: crawfordville on Jan 26, 2012 at 01:39 PM
    Sounds like a paid second honeymoon to me
  • by Native Location: Wakulla on Jan 26, 2012 at 12:06 PM
    So proud of our detectives in Wakulla
  • by Winning on Jan 26, 2012 at 11:21 AM
    Good job WCSO! Once again proving that there is much, much more to protecting our County than writing traffic tickets and chauffering the Governor. Sorry Charlie
    • reply
      by Crawfordvile on Jan 26, 2012 at 04:11 PM in reply to Winning
      Why don't you have the guts to post your real name. Let's get this out in the open.
      • reply
        by chuck on Jan 27, 2012 at 02:57 AM in reply to Crawfordvile
        And I am sure as many other's, that your real name is crawfordville. You opened the door, now let's have your real name.
      • reply
        by Bolillo on Jan 27, 2012 at 04:38 AM in reply to Crawfordvile
        And you post anonymously? Your's is the post I needed to start my weekend.
      • reply
        by Crawfordville on Jan 27, 2012 at 06:16 AM in reply to Crawfordvile
        Why don't your post yours?
    • reply
      by concerned on Jan 27, 2012 at 03:51 AM in reply to Winning
      and while wcso is investigating accidents, instead of patroling neighborhoods, burglaries are on the rise.
      • reply
        by Citizen on Jan 27, 2012 at 06:18 AM in reply to concerned
        That's probably because there are no state troopers around to investigate the accidents so somebody has to do it.
  • by h Location: crawfordville on Jan 26, 2012 at 11:21 AM
    Doog job Wakulla county Sheriff's office for bring her back. She deserves this. Poor lady she stole from.
  • by TaX Location: Tallahassee on Jan 26, 2012 at 10:17 AM
    They got reimbursed on the goverment dollar. Those "CoPS" basically went on vacation and the governemnt paid for it. Hotel rooms, Rental car, Gas, Meals,Per Diem. The real crime is the two cops who took government money to go on a Wakulla honey moon. I am gonna give the Florida Attorney General an Email with this link. FRAUD and it makes the news that they are some kind of hero's. They really just robbed some taxpayers . I wanna see those receipts
    • reply
      by Jim on Jan 26, 2012 at 04:11 PM in reply to TaX
      You ought to read the article. They went to pick up a criminal. If they had fun doing it, good for them. I would gladly pay for them to bring this lady back for justice. I'm sure the victim would, too.
    • reply
      by Ashley on Jan 27, 2012 at 05:57 AM in reply to TaX
      Do you honestly think they rented a car to pick up a criminal?? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 27, 2012 at 08:26 AM in reply to TaX
      Would you have an issue with it if they were not a married couple?
  • by give her the max on Jan 26, 2012 at 09:58 AM
    The same thing happened to my grandfather, unfortunately, it was in Leon County! They are not as victim friendly as WCSO! In my opinion Leon County Sheriff's Office can't solve a crime!!!
    • reply
      by Bolillo on Jan 27, 2012 at 09:44 AM in reply to give her the max
      Cops don't solve crimes. Snithes do. That's how detectives do it. Find a snitch, aka - Confidential Informant.
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