Congressman Joe Kennedy III Provides Statement Regarding Arrest of Fall River Mayor

FALL RIVER – Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-MA 4th District) has weighed in on the arrest of Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia by federal authorities on Thursday morning.

A 13-count indictment charges the Democratic two-term mayor of Fall River with wire fraud and filing false tax returns.

“These are serious charges for which the Mayor must answer. This is a difficult day for the City of Fall River,” Congressman Kennedy told CapeCod.com.

Kennedy’s congressional district extends to Fall River.

U.S. attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling announced in a Thursday press conference that Correia was arrested and charged with defrauding investors and using funds to pay for political campaigns and a “lavish lifestyle.”

The indictment claims that Correia founded SnoOwl, a company that was developing an app to help businesses connect with target consumers, in 2012. Correia began to perpetrate a scheme to defraud SnoOwl investors by “making false representations and diverting a significant portion of the investors’ funds to himself.”

From 2013-2015, Prosecutors say Correia stole at least $231,447 from the seven SnoOwl investors.

The indictment says Correia used the money to purchase luxury items like designer-brand clothing and jewelry worth thousands of dollars, to pay for personal travel and entertainment, to pay make payments towards his student loan debt, and to make charitable donations in his own name.

“Correia did all of this mostly by using a company debit card and a personal credit card. Meanwhile, according to the indictment, Correia deceived his investors of SnoOwl on an ongoing basis. He reassured with fake updates as to SnoOwl’s progress and financial records, but refused to show anyone financial records, like bank statements, that would have revealed his expenditures,” Lelling stated during the Thursday press conference. “At the same time, he did little to keep SnoOwl a viable business, and as SnoOwl floundered, Correia announced his candidacy as Mayor of Fall River. During the election he even touted the stewardship of SnoOwl as one of his primary qualifications to be mayor.”

Lelling added that Correia also attempted cover up his crimes when he learned of the investigation into SnoOWl.

“During the spring of 2017, while Correia was the Mayor of Fall River, he learned that SnoOwl was the subject of a federal criminal investigation and took steps to hide his scheme,” stated Lelling.

Correia was first elected as a city councilor in 2013, then was elected mayor in 2015, making him the youngest mayor in the city’s history.

By TIM DUNN, CapeCod.com News Center



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