North Miami mayor surrenders to FBI, suspended by Scott

Lucie Tondreau charged in $8 million mortgage fraud scheme

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – The mayor of North Miami surrendered to federal authorities one day after she was indicted in an $8 million mortgage fraud scheme.

Lucie Tondreau arrived at the FBI office in North Miami Beach shortly before 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. She was placed in handcuffs and led away to jail.

A federal judge ordered that Tondreau must surrender all passports, stay in South Florida and adhere to an 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. She is also forbidden from engaging in any employment involving mortgages.

Gov. Rick Scott suspended Tondreau from office late Tuesday.

An indictment unsealed Monday charges Tondreau and three others with wire fraud conspiracy.

"I'm innocent," Tondreau told Local 10 after she was released on $50,000 bond.

Prosecutors claim Tondreau and another defendant used a radio show to recruit straw buyers who were used to defraud lenders in buying 20 properties.

The alleged crimes took place before Tondreau became mayor last June.

"Nobody had given her or her legal team any opportunity in advance to either explain the circumstances or to at least work out arrangements," attorney Ben Kuehne said.

The mayor said she learned about the indictment while she was in Las Vegas on business. She said she returned to South Florida to clear her name.

Tondreau is the first Haitian-American woman to be elected mayor of North Miami.

Her arraignment is scheduled for May 30 at 10 a.m.