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 presence of the Haitian community in the United States is undeniable. Whether in politic, school or at the work place, it is hard to avoid our influence. A recent report just released has discovered that the Haitian presence and influence in the U.S. has in fact increased during the past 14 years in America.
According to the survey, the number of Creole speakers in United States has increased by 73 percent from 2000 to 2014. In 2000, Creole was the 14th most common language spoken at home. In 2014, it is ranks 10th.
Creole speakers are found mainly in South Florida, Massachusetts, and in New York City.
As the country begins to ramp up on its football interest and on various related projects, those in the diaspora also would join in the action--at least those of the Haitian community in North Miami who were slated to meet one of football's biggest names.
David Beckham, former captain of the England football team and retired footballer, met with former mayor of North Miami, Andre Pierre and Ed Lozama, as well as members of the community in one of the city's well-known parks.
Keeping the visit light and informal, Beckham, known almost as much for his dress sense as his footballing skills, came only in t-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap, happy to sign autographs and take pictures with fans.
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.
Little Haiti in Miami has represented a point of reference for the Haitian community in Miami. I would say even the entire United States of America.
When there is trouble in Haiti, where do you think the media come to find more information? "Little Haiti"
When political candidates, elected officials, social activists want to show their support to the Haitian community, where do you think they come? "Little Haiti"
More importantly, when you want to have a good "Haitian Grio" with "Pikliz", where do you think you should go? "Little Haiti"
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