MIAMI — The business partner of North Miami’s suspended mayor has pleaded guilty in an $11 million mortgage fraud case in which the mayor also has been charged.

Karl Oreste of Miramar pleaded guilty last week to a wire fraud conspiracy charge involving a financial institution. The charge carries a maximum 30-year prison sentence.

Suspended mayor Lucie Tondreau
Suspended mayor Lucie Tondreau

Court documents show that Oreste and the suspended North Miami mayor, Marie Lucie Tondreau, used a radio program catering to Haitian-Americans to recruit people to pose as borrowers for homes. The paperwork submitted to lenders allegedly contained false information and values of the properties were inflated, with Oreste, Tondreau and others sharing fraudulent proceeds.

Tondreau has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial. The alleged scheme involved about 20 properties that cost lenders $11 million in losses.

by The Associated Press

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