Fall River mayor arrested in FBI investigation

FALL RIVER – Mayor Jasiel F. Correia II has been arrested on charges that he defrauded investors and used funds to pay for a lavish lifestyle and political campaign, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts and the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced Thursday.

The mayor admitted last year he had been subject to a federal investigation regarding his company SnoOwl, which he founded in 2012 to develop an app designed to promote local business.

Correia was first elected in 2015 at age 23 – the youngest mayor in the city’s history – and took office in January 2016.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that Correia is charged with nine counts of wire fraud and four counts of filing false tax returns related to SnoOwl.

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Correia allegedly used at least $231,447 of investors’ money to fund his campaign and to purchase personal items.

Among things Correia spent his investors’ money on were his burgeoning political career and other business ventures, luxury items. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said these expenditures included, “a Mercedes, jewelry and designer clothing, personal travel and entertainment, including tens of thousands of dollars on airfare, hotels, restaurants, casinos, and adult entertainment; to pay down personal student loan debt; to fund his political campaign; and to make charitable donations in his own name.”

Correia is also alleged to have filed false tax returns. It is also alleged that after finding out he was under investigation, Correia filed amended tax returns that were also false.