Jasiel Correia, the disgraced former Democratic mayor of Fall River, is finally scheduled to report to prison on Friday as a result of a federal appeals court decision after more than half a dozen delays.
Correia, who received a six-year prison term last year, had contacted the first U.S. While his appeal against a corruption conviction is still underway, the Circuit Court of Appeals should permit him to stay free on bond. The plea was made after a judge in a lower court repeatedly postponed the date of his surrender before eventually fixing it for April 22 without further postponements.
Due to allegations that he spent most of the money from investors on holidays, entertainment, and other personal costs, Correia was indicted in 2018 for defrauding investors in SnoOwl, a software application company he started.
The former mayor was charged with new offenses in a 2019 indictment, including extortion of money from those looking to start marijuana stores in Fall River. A collaborative investigation by federal authorities and the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General led to the accusations.
On May 14, 2021, jurors found Correia guilty on 21 of 24 counts, including extortion, extortion conspiracy, and wire fraud, following a three-week trial.
In the proceedings for sentencing held in September, U.S. Correia was given a sentence of 72 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, by District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock. On 10 of the 21 counts, including multiple wire fraud and tax convictions, Judge Woodlock dismissed guilty verdicts. In addition, the judge mandated that Correia forfeit $566,740 to the government and pay $311,340 in restitution to four investors in the software firm he formed, SnoOwl.
The appeals court rejected the request for an additional postponement on Wednesday in the afternoon. The appeals court will finally hear Correia’s appeal on the matter itself. “The self-surrender date currently scheduled remains in effect,” the two-sentence ruling by a panel of three judges reads.
According to court documents, Correia will have his GPS tracking device taken off in Massachusetts before turning himself in at a federal prison in Berlin, New Hampshire.
His appeal has not yet been scheduled for arguments.
Following mounting criticism from some members of the public and at least one of Correia’s victims who expressed outrage that the former mayor had been let to remain free for so long despite being found guilty and given a sentence, the decision to ultimately send Correia to jail was made.
The court’s order “declares what so many have yearned to hear in the case against former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia – he will begin his prison sentence in the coming days,” Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a statement.
“Although we cannot erase the impact Jasiel Correia’s conduct and subsequent legal battle has had on the city and constituents he swore to honestly serve, this ruling marks the next step in bringing justice to the people of Fall River and the many others who fell victim to his corruption,” she said.
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Sources: Conservativebrief, Bostonglobe, Nbcboston