By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — A former chief of staff for Miami-Dade Commissioner Jean Monestime, another man connected to the commissioner, and a bank branch manager are accused of stealing $640,000 from the county.

In announcing the arrests on Monday, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said they used their positions to apply for county grant money by using names of social service organizations. They then reportedly pocketed the proceeds.

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“With these arrests, we are alleging that these three individuals appear to have fallen prey to a temptation to steal Miami-Dade County money and property,” Rundle said. “It’s disappointing to see that there are still individuals who think that they can get away with stealing from the public.”

Charges against them include racketeering, organized fraud, grand theft, and unlawfully filing a false document.

“These individuals leveraged a position of trust and position of authority to steal the public’s money,” said Miami-Dade Inspector General Felix Jimenez.

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Rundle said there is no evidence that the commissioner knew about the scheme.

Mac-Kinley Lauritson, the former chief of staff, and Evelt Jeudy, a former aide to Monestime, are accused of defrauding the system for more than five years, applying for grants for cultural affairs, kids, and seniors.

They received money through corporations and at least one foundation they set up for that purpose, their arrest reports said.

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(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) Team