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Young Mayor's Alleged Dark Past Is Haunting Him

But Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia denies all charges
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2018 4:30 PM CDT
Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia speaks to the media after leaving federal court, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 in Boston.   (Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via AP)

(Newser) – Elected at age 23, arrested three years later: That's the latest on Jasiel Correia, the youngest-ever mayor of Fall River, Mass., and alleged defrauder of investors in a tech startup, the Boston Globe reports. Before turning mayor in 2015, Correia allegedly spent $231,000 in investors' money on everything from a Mercedes-Benz to pricey travel to adult entertainment—then filed fraudulent tax returns to cover his trail. "It's not my best Thursday," he said after pleading not guilty to 13 counts of wire and tax fraud in federal court in Boston, per MassLive. "It's raining. I don't like to be out in the rain." Correia also issued a public denial of sorts: "There is not a single thing ... I did wrong as the mayor of the city of Fall River," he said.

Per a federal indictment, Correia lied to investors of the business app SnoOwl by saying he'd created a profitable app before. He then allegedly spent almost two-thirds of their money: $10,000 on a 2011 Mercedes sports sedan, another $10,000 to pay off student loans and boost his political campaign, and other funds on designer clothing, restaurants, jewelry, and charitable donations in his name. None of the seven investors have seen returns. "One of the frustrating aspects of [Correia's first mayoral] campaign was that a lot of people thought he was a success and had been an entrepreneurial wizard," says former mayor Sam Sutter, who lost to Correia in 2015. "But the exact opposite was true." Correia returned to work Friday at City Hall saying he would not resign, per the Globe. (Read more Massachusetts stories.)

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