Here is something for the Haitian diaspora to think about. Former North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau was sentenced this Tuesday in Miami to spend five years and five months in federal prison. The 55 year old Haitian-Amercican Lucie Tondreau was convicted of conspiracy and wire fraud charges back in December 2014.
The Former Mayor will likely spend quite a number of years thinking about this. Following her prison time, Tondreau will also be required to serve three years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay restitution of which the actual amount has not yet been determined.
Lucie Tondreau who was suspended as North Miami Mayor was found guilty by a federal jury today (December 16, 2014) of conspiring to commit wire fraud. She is accused of loan conspiracy with partner and fiancé Karl Oreste and others of a total of $11million between 2005 and 2008. According to the details, she allowed bogus loan applications to use their names in exchange for kickbacks
After a two weeks trial, it took the 12 member jury only two hours to find Lucie Tondreau guilty of conspiracy and wire-fraud charges
Lucie Tondreau was elected as the Mayor of North Miami in 2013. She was arrested immediately after the verdict. With this conviction, she is looking at spending up to 30 years in Federal prison.
The Mayor of North Miami, Marie Lucie Tondreau, is no longer a mayor. She was suspended by the Governor of Florida Rick Scott on Tuesday, May 20, 2014.
On that same day, she appeared in front of a judge as she was accused for working with three others other individuals to commit Mortgage fraud. Ms. Tondreau walked into the FBI office in Miami to surrender. She was granted bail for $50,000. Until her trial that will take place in the future, Lucie Tondreau will have several restrictions. Although she will not have to wear an electronic ankle monitor, she will not be able to stay outside of her home between the hours of 11p.m. to 6 a.m.
This can't look good for the Haitian community. First female Haitian-American Mayor of North Miami, Marie Lucie Tondreau, was among four people indicted on Mortgage found Monday, May 19, 2014.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida on Monday filed criminal charges for activities from December 2005 to May 2008 well before Marie Lucie Tondreau had become the Mayor of North Miami.
Tondreau along side with Karl Oreste, Okechukwu Josiah Odunna and Kelly Augustin were all charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud. If convicted, she is likely to face up to 30 years in prison.
It was near the end of summer when news of North Miami Police Chief Marc Elias being called into question about various trips he had made to his native Haiti since 2012 using public funds. Elias had said at the time his trips had been official, the last being to act as part of a security detail for North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau. While six of his 7 trips over the two-year period have been verified by the necessary documents, warranted compensation from the city, his last trip with the Mayor in August of 2013 did not follow suit. This, consequently, has led to his resignation from the post.
It is always good to ask questions and this particular questions is being discussed in many Haitian barber shops and parks where Haitians are gathered to play Dominos.
Just a quick history on the situation of North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau. Following her election as the new Mayor of North Miami this year, the election was contested by former mayor Kevin Burns, a former mayor himself but not of Haitian descent, on the ground that Lucie Tondreau did not meet residency requirement to run for office.
There is another level to the story. According to some of the supporters of Mayor Lucie Tondreau another former mayoral candidate, Dr. Smith Joseph, who happens to be Haitian-American, is also collaborating with the non Haitian-American Kevin Burns to remove Mayor Lucie Tondreau from office.
North Miami Police Chief Marc Elias traveled seven times in Haiti since April 2012. He charged the city each time for a total of $14,000. His travel expenses were paid from city's Law Enforcement Trust Fund which was created out of the money seized from criminals and which was meant to be spend on training, public education, equipment or crime prevention. However, as per the statement of City Manager Stephen Johnson, Elias' most recent trip in August did not have enough documents entitling him reimbursement.
While Lucie Tondreau, the Mayor of North Miami, was in Haiti on a private vacation, Marc Elias, as per his revelation, accompanied him by flying in business class to ensure the mayor's safety. The other purposes of his trips as per his disclosure were, meeting Haitian police staff in a program under strengthening the Haitian Police force, attending eighteenth anniversary celebration for Haitian police force and a swearing-in ceremony for Haiti's national police chief.
For the third time in a matter of six months, the office of North Miami Mayor, Haitian born Lucie Tondreau, has been searched for evidence that would link her to fraudulent absentee-ballot requests suspected to have been submitted by her campaign earlier this year.
While Mayor Lucie Tondreau denies any involvement in such a scheme, Miami Beach police and prosecutors from the Miami-Dade area affirm that the IP address used to submit the online requests has been traced back to Tondreau and Associates, the mayor's North Miami public affairs consulting company. From the search was uncovered the identities of more than fifty people whose information was used for the requests, which were submitted for the mayoral runoff in June as well as for the first round of municipal elections a month before. These ballots were not mailed as, due to their dubious origins, they were flagged as wary.
The Haitian Radio landscape of North Miami during an election period is a veritable game of thrones. With a whole third of the North Miami population being of Haitian descent, hopefuls for the city council and the position of mayor take to the ever important airwaves to sway the votes of this influential number.
The importance of Creole radio in North Miami is unquestionable. Even non-Creole speaking candidates and other interested parties keep themselves abreast of what is being broadcast because, quite often, the elections all but play out over the radio waves. The relationship to the Haitian residents of North Miami and their radio stations is not always a healthy one. They hang so trustingly upon the words of the broadcasters that the truth and lies are often accepted unquestioningly. Therefore, any candidate serious for election must keep on top of what is being said about them on radio. They must not only police what others are saying, but be a source of information by having a decisive presence on the most popular stations and talk-shows.
Civic leader and Haitian-American, Lucie Tondreau, has become North Miami's first female mayor. She beat incumbent Kevin Burns with nearly two-thirds of the vote, in an uncontested election.
Seven-year old Lucie and her family escaped Haiti in 1967 during the violent dictatorship of Jean-Claude Duvalier. They relocated to Montréal where Lucie grew up. After traveling in the Caribbean and Africa, Lucie returned to New York and worked as a journalist, becoming deeply involved in the Haitian Diaspora community. She hosted both her own television and radio programs, and wrote on Diaspora issues.
Lucie eventually realized she could be of more service to Haitians arriving in Miami, who needed help assimilating. She re-settled permanently in Miami, and became a champion for voting and human rights issues. She also participated in delivering aid support to survivors when natural disasters occurred in Miami (a hurricane) and Haiti (the earthquake), in 2005 and 2010.
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