North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau Suspended By Scott

Gov. Rick Scott suspended North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau from office Tuesday afternoon, just hours after she first appeared in court to face charges over what prosecutors say was a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme.

Tondreau was suspended just before 5 p.m., after she was granted bond at a brief initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon. She can bail out of jail for $50,000, according to NBC6's Hank Tester. Tondreau will have a court-ordered curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. but will not wear an ankle monitor.

Tuesday's court appearance concluded a whirlwind 36 hours for the mayor, who had walked into the FBI office in Miami shortly after 8 a.m. to surrender and was later seen in handcuffs.

Authorities had announced Monday that Tondreau and three others would face wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud charges.

The indictment alleges that Tondreau worked with Karl Oreste, 56, O.J. Odunna, 49, and Kelly Augustin, 57, in a conspiracy to recruit and use false information to obtain loans on 20 properties between December 2005 and May 2008, during the housing bubble.

In addition, the government said Tondreau used some of the funds deposited into an investment corporation’s account to make payments on the “falsely and fraudulently obtained mortgages in order to maintain the loans, and to conceal and further the fraud. She also used a portion of the funds deposited into the investment corporation’s account for her own personal use and benefit.”

Lenders suffered losses of approximately $8 million, prosecutors said.

Mayor Tondreau was in Las Vegas when the indictment was unsealed Monday and said she was surprised when the FBI came to her home with a warrant for her arrest.

"I think it's a huge mistake and my lawyers are gonna go through it," Tondreau said late Monday after arriving on a flight back home. "I'm not sure what it is exactly to tell you the truth. I'm waiting to speak with my lawyer and tomorrow we'll find out exactly what it's all about."

"It's a lie, it's a lie, we're going to get through it with my lawyers," she added.

A native of Haiti, Tondreau was elected as mayor last June, beating out former mayor Kevin Burns in a runoff. Burns later filed a lawsuit, accusing Tondreau of not having lived in the city for at least a year before the election. It was later dismissed.

Tondreau will be arraigned in federal court on May 30 at 10 a.m.

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