Former Fall River Mayor Acquitted Of Several Convictions

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Representation. A U.S. courtroom.

The former mayor of the Massachusetts city Fall River is still facing prison time after being acquitted of several convictions. 

Jasiel Correia, the ex-mayor of Fall River, appeared in court on Monday to be sentenced on 21 federal corruption and fraud counts. 

However, a federal judge threw out six counts of wire fraud and two counts of filing false tax returns after determining the prosecutors failed to provide proper proof to maintain the convictions.

Despite the acquittal, Correia’s convictions on multiple counts of extortion, wire fraud, and extortion conspiracy remain in place.  He was initially convicted of nine counts of wire fraud, four counts of extortion conspiracy, four counts of filing false tax returns, and four counts of extortion.

Correia was elected mayor in 2015 at the age of 23. During his campaign, he portrayed himself as a successful entrepreneur who could help strengthen the struggling city. However, federal prosecutors claimed he stole money from investors and used it to finance a lavish lifestyle.

Once he took office, prosecutors believe he accepted bribes from marijuana vendors that wanted to open up businesses in the city. Correia has maintained his innocence throughout the scandal.

Although the judge has tossed several of Correia’s convictions, Mark Dana, a legal analyst at NBC 10, believes the disgraced mayor could still be sentenced to several years in prison if he doesn’t own up to his wrongdoing. 

“If he is remorseful, sincerely remorseful, it probably will be on the lower end, something in the area of five or four years,” Dana said. 

“If, however, he says nothing or says he’s innocent -- which he has, right after the verdict to the media -- then he’s got a problem because, under those circumstances, the court under the federal sentencing guidelines can give up to six, seven, eight years.”

Federal prosecutors were seeking an 11-year prison sentence and wanted Correia to forfeit more than $560,000, pay almost $300,000 in restitution to investors and over $20,000 to the IRS.

The sentencing portion of Correia’s hearing is expected to begin Tuesday morning.


Photo: Pixabay

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