Alice Faye Redd
She was a member of Lakeland’s Carpenter’s Home Church and, later, Victory Assembly of God, president of the P.T.A., the Junior League of Lakeland, and the Garden Club, even honored as one of ten outstanding young women of America at Richard M. Nixon's White House.
Auburndale socialite and political fundraiser Alice Faye Redd had her own radio show, too, "The Happy Homemaker," on Lakeland’s Christian FM radio station, WCIE. In the late 1970’s, she wrote a cookbook (“The Happy Homemaker-Bashful Bachelor Cookbook”) with WCIE news director Stephen Winters that featured recipes from station listeners and members of the station’s staff.
But then her family found out that for nine years she had been running a pyramid scheme, defrauding an estimated $3.6 million from more than a hundred fellow church members, many of them elderly. Four psychiatrists, including one selected by the prosecution, agreed that she was suffering from a form of manic-depression.
Believing the psychiatric evidence was so strong, Redd’s family assumed the court would show leniency after the 59-year-old pleaded no contest to the charges of racketeering and grand theft. But with the life savings of scores of people ruined, she found little sympathy from the community, the prosecution, or the judge and, in 1996, was given the maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
The Auburndale native was released from prison as a medical hardship case after serving twenty-eight months of her sentence when the Florida Parole Commission discovered she was dying of advancing bone cancer. She was released under house arrest and lived another four years before passing away in 2002 at the age of 65.
1980 - 1990 WCIE-FM 91.3 Lakeland (On Air Personality)