Mayor arrested, accused of defrauding investors to pay for ‘lavish’ lifestyle

Posted at 11:42 AM, Oct 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-11 13:42:26-04

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    FALL RIVER, Mass. (WCVB) — The mayor of Fall River was arrested and accused of defrauding investors, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Mayor Jasiel Correia, 26, allegedly defrauded investors and used the money to pay for a “lavish lifestyle and political campaign,” officials said.

Correia was taken into custody early Thursday at his home.

According to the indictment, Correia started seeking investors for a start-up company, SnoOwl, in 2013. He is accused of telling potential investors that he was a successful tech entrepreneur who previously sold another app, FindIt Networks, for a large profit.

“Correia perpetrated a scheme to defraud the SnoOwl investors by making false representations and diverting a significant portion of the investors’ funds to himself, while neglecting the development of the company to focus on his political career,” the indictment read.

Of the $363,690 Correia received from seven investors, he allegedly used more than $230,000 to fund his own lavish lifestyle, burgeoning political career and the needs of his other business ventures, according to the indictment.

He used the money, the indictment says, to purchase tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of luxury items, including jewelry, a Mercedes sedan and clothing; to pay for personal travel and entertainment; to pay down his student loan debt; and to make charitable donations in his own name.

Officials said no investor has received any return, to date, on their investment into SnoOwl.

Correia is facing nine counts of wire fraud and four counts of tax fraud and is scheduled to appear Thursday in Federal Court.

Correia was the youngest mayor in Fall River history when he was elected in 2015.

According to his online biography, the Democratic Correia first ran for the Fall River City Council at age 21 in 2013.

He is a lifelong city resident who attended Providence College and the city’s first mayor of Cape Verdean descent.

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