- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

MIAMI (AP) - The business partner of North Miami’s former mayor has been sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison for his role in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scam.

A federal judge imposed the sentence Monday on 56-year-old Karl Oreste, who pleaded guilty in July to a wire fraud conspiracy charge. The former mayor, Lucie Tondreau, was convicted in the case in December following a two-week jury trial and faces sentencing in March.

Prosecutors say Tondreau, Oreste 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 had been North Miami’s first female Haitian-American mayor. A new mayor, Smith Joseph, has since been elected.

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