A former mayor of a city in Massachusetts was charged with extorting prospective cannabis business owners, among other charges, and sentenced to numerous years in prison.
Jasiel F. Correia II, former mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts, first took on the role at 23 years of age in 2016. During his time as mayor, he allegedly committed numerous acts of greed and corruption. Federal Judge Douglas Woodlock announced his ruling on September 21, assigning Correia to six years in prison and three additional years of supervised release.
The 29-year-old was initially convicted of his crime in May 2021 on “nine counts of wire fraud, four counts of filing false tax returns, four counts of extortion conspiracy and four counts of extortion,” according to an official press release from the United States Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts. According to Forbes, Correia committed wire fraud, extortion and accepted bribes from local cannabis businesses in exchange for business licenses.
“Jasiel Correia was a corrupt and deceitful politician who could only be stopped by federal prosecution. Now he is a felon and will be a federal inmate,” said Acting United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Nathaniel R. Mendell, in a press release. “Mr. Correia lied to investors, sold his office, and has no remorse for his crimes. That warrants a significant prison term, which is why the government recommended an 11-year sentence.”
Massachusetts Asks for Accountability
Massachusetts law states that in order to obtain a license to operate a cannabis business, the head of the local government must issue a non-opposition letter. “Correia, as Mayor, was solely responsible for approving all non-opposition letters in Fall River,” a press release confirmed.