By Tiffany Williams –
On Friday 26-year-old Jasiel F. Correia II, the Mayor of Fall River, MA was at city hall and back to work, just a day after he was arrested and charged with nine counts of wire fraud and four counts of filing false tax returns.
The FBI says that Mayor Correia founded an app in 2012 called SnoOwl designed to connect local businesses with their target consumer market. In 2013, Correia began seeking investors and seven individuals invested $363,690 in return for equity in the company.
Allegedly Correia told potential investors that he was a successful tech entrepreneur who previously sold another app for a large profit. The FBI also says that Correia would not take a salary or otherwise draw compensation from SnoOwl but Correia did use at least $231,447 – approximately 64% of the money invested to fund his lavish lifestyle, political career, adult entertainment and other business ventures.
When Mayor Correia became aware in 2017 that SnoOwl was the subject of a federal investigation, the Mayor instructed an accountant to file amended 2013 and 2014 personal tax returns.
A spokesman for Governor Charlie Baker said Friday, “Governor Baker and Lt. Governor [Karyn] Polito believe that in light of these serious allegations, Mayor Correia should act in the best interests of the people of Fall River and step aside until the case is resolved. Ultimately, it is up to residents and voters to decide who is best fit to lead the city,”
Back to work on Friday, exiting his vehicle with his coffee in hand, Mayor Correia, a democrat said he does not plan to resign.
The Fall River City Council is scheduled to convene next Tuesday at 6 p.m. to discuss the criminal indictment of Mayor Correia.
The city charter for the city of Fall River does allow the City Council to remove Mayor Correia by declaring the mayor unfit to serve.
The council would need seven of nine votes and some city councilors are already sounding off.
City Councilman Steven Camara said he would not vote to remove Correia however City Councilman Leo Pelletier said he would vote to declare Correia unfit to serve.