According to a Miami Herald article just posted, Tondreau’s fate in mortgage fraud case to be decided soon, suspended North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau’s trial could come to a close as early as this week.
Federal court prosecutors called eight witnesses to the stand, who “testified that Tondreau talked them into buying homes without putting any money down. They only needed to sign the loan paperwork, and each received thousands of dollars in exchange.”
The prosecution, however, did not allow the testimony of their “star witness” Karl Oreste, who was arrested with Lucie last May. According to the article, “they may have had concerns about Oreste’s potential vulnerability on cross-examination. Tondreau’s defense team planned to portray him as the consummate con man who duped her into playing an unwitting supporting role to fleece the banks.”
Lucie’s lawyers have already tried to portray her as a victim. In a previous article published last week, Suspended North Miami mayor faces federal mortgage fraud trial, Michael Davis, one of her defense attorneys, told the jury, “Karl Oreste is a liar. He lied to the community, he lied to the buyers, he lied to the sellers, and he even lied to the government. They will not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she knew what he was doing. … Once she learned this man was a liar and a fraud, she ended it with him.”
Two months after he was arrested, Karl Oreste pleaded guilty and promptly threw his former fiancé under the bus.
Like honor, there is apparently no loyalty among thieves.
Alleged thieves, of course.
Miami Herald reporter Jay Weaver described the experience of one alleged victim of the mortgage fraud scheme, Yvon Exius, who claims he was recruited by Lucie to be a straw buyer of two homes and received $10,000.00 for each deal. The article stated:
“In Exius’ case, he purchased two homes in June of 2006: the first for $510,000 on Frow Avenue in the Coconut Grove section of Miami, and the second for $1.2million on Coronado Drive in North Miami.
In both instances, the loan paperwork showed that he had an annual income of $29,215, that his employer was Right Choice Housing and that he paid some of the costs at the closings. None of that information was true, he testified.
“I have never earned that much money,” Exius testified through a Creole interpreter, adding that he could not qualify to buy either home nor did he intend to live at either address. Yet somehow, in a fast-and-loose real estate market soon to go bust, he qualified for two massive mortgages.
At one point, the prosecutor displayed a handwritten note that read: “I am purchasing this property as a primary residence.”
Asked if he signed the document, Exius answered no. “It’s not mine, and besides there’s a mistake in the spelling of my name.” Indeed, at the end of the note, his last was spelled “Exuis.”
Exius said he grew fearful that he would get arrested for buying the two homes, which were used as rental properties, until they went into foreclosure, he testified.”
Lucie Tondreau and Karl Oreste were the only ones arrested for these charges. Two other suspects, Okechukwu Josiah Odunna, who acted as a title agent, and Kelly Augustin, an employee of Oreste’s company, KMC Mortgage Corporation of Florida, went MIA before they could be arrested. They are considered to be fugitives.
You can stay updated on the trial this week by listening to the Rotschill Anderson Show, Monday through Friday from 2:30-3:00 pm on WLQY 1320 AM, or watch it live at vibznation.com.
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