- Associated Press - Monday, December 1, 2014

MIAMI (AP) - Trial is set to begin for the suspended mayor of North Miami on charges of participating in an $11 million mortgage fraud scheme.

Jury selection was scheduled to start Monday for Lucie Tondreau, who faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy and wire fraud. She has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say Tondreau and others conspired before she became mayor to defraud lenders using straw buyers, who obtained inflated loans for 20 properties. The scheme allegedly involved recruiting buyers through a radio program catering to Haitian-American listeners.

Tondreau’s business partner, Karl Oreste, previously pleaded guilty in the case.

Tondreau in June became North Miami’s first female Haitian-American mayor, but she was suspended from office by Gov. Rick Scott. A new mayor, Smith Joseph, has since been elected.

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