Ex-North Miami mayoral candidate charged in fraud case


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Mackinley Lauriston, who ran unsuccessfully for North Miami mayor and is also the former chief of staff for Miami-Dade commissioner Jean Monestime, has been arrested in connection with a fraud probe.

Lauriston, 55, was booked into a Miami-Dade jail late Sunday, records show. He’s charged with a slew of felonies, including racketeering, organized fraud, grand theft, conflict of interest and official misconduct. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had retained a defense attorney.

He is one of three people — including current Monestime aide Evelt Jeudy — who have accused of manipulating the process for awarding public grants. Jeudy was arrested on Friday. A third person, Nadine Chery, who described herself online as a “risk consultant” for Wells Fargo bank, has been arrested in Port St. Lucie, records show.

Details of the case, which was investigated by the Miami-Dade Inspector General’s Office, have yet to be released. A press conference will be held on Monday afternoon at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. A press release said a trio was arrested for “using the grant awarding process for $640,000 utilizing the prestige of a Commissioner’s Office.”

Lauriston has held a series of government jobs over the years, including as chief of staff for Monestime and as an assistant to the vice mayor of Miramar. On his website, he says he spent 16 years working as a financial analyst and accountant for the transport company Ryder.

Online, he describes himself as a “strategic consultant” for his own company, Lauriston & Associates. He also ran for mayor of North in Miami in 2019, placing second to Philippe Bien-Aime. It was unclear if he had

As for Jeudy, he works as the district coordinator for Monestime, who represents the county’s District 2, an area that includes parts of northern Miami and surrounding cities and neighborhoods. Jeudy earned $73,000 last year in the position.

Monestime on Friday declined to comment on the arrest of his aide. “Given that this matter is now in the hands of the criminal justice system, I am not at liberty to comment further,” he said in a statement.

David Ovalle covers crime and courts in Miami. A native of San Diego, he graduated from the University of Southern California and joined the Herald in 2002 as a sports reporter.

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