Press Release: 2021-06-10
Former Fall River Mayor Found Guilty of Defrauding Investors and Extorting Marijuana Vendors
Former Fall River Mayor Found Guilty of Defrauding Investors and Extorting Marijuana Vendors:
Jurors convicted Jasiel F. Correia II, the former mayor of Fall River, of fraud, extortion and other charges on May 14 in federal court in Boston. The charges resulted from a joint investigation by federal and state agencies, including the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General.
Correia was indicted in 2018 for allegedly using most of the funds investors had invested in his company, SnoOwl, for personal travel, vacations, a Mercedes, jewelry, political campaign costs and paying down his student loans.
The following year Correia was indicted for allegedly extorting several businessmen seeking to open licensed marijuana dispensaries in Fall River. Under Massachusetts law, a prospective marijuana vendor must receive a letter of non-opposition from the local head of government in order to obtain a license. Four marijuana vendors agreed to pay bribes – ranging from campaign contributions, mortgage discharges, and from $75,000 to $250,000 in cash – to Correia and his co-conspirators in return for letters of non-opposition.
On May 14, 2021, Correia was found guilty of 21 of the 24 counts against him: nine counts of wire fraud, four counts of filing false tax returns, four counts of extortion and four counts of extortion conspiracy. Correia’s sentencing is scheduled for September 20, 2021.
For more information, see the U.S. Attorney’s Office press release: Former Fall River Mayor Convicted of Extorting Marijuana Vendors and Defrauding Investors