Ex-mayor, elected at age 23, loses corruption case appeal

BOSTON (AP) — A federal appeals courtroom has upheld the extortion and fraud convictions of a once-celebrated younger Massachusetts mayor who was discovered responsible of extorting a whole bunch of 1000’s of {dollars} from marijuana companies.

In a ruling printed on Monday, the first U.S. Circuit Court docket of Appeals rejected a sequence of challenges to former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Corriea’s 2021 trial, concluding that the 30-year-old was “pretty tried and lawfully convicted by an neutral jury.”

Correia, as soon as a rising Democratic star after being elected at simply 23 years previous, was discovered responsible by jurors in Boston federal courtroom of defrauding traders in his smartphone app and soliciting bribes from marijuana distributors who needed to function within the struggling mill metropolis.

The choose later tossed a number of wire fraud and false tax returns convictions that he mentioned prosecutors didn’t show. Corriea stays convicted of a number of counts of fraud, extortion conspiracy and extortion. He reported to jail in April to start serving his six-year jail sentence.

Attorneys for Correia declined to touch upon Tuesday. Of their attraction, they accused prosecutors of finishing up an “unfair smear marketing campaign within the courtroom” and referred to as the proof in opposition to their shopper “remarkably shallow.” The previous mayor maintains he’s harmless.

Correia’s trial shone a lightweight on his meteoric rise to change into mayor as a current faculty graduate. Correia portrayed himself to voters as a profitable entrepreneur who may breathe new life into the city.

Prosecutors advised jurors that in actuality Corriea funded his lavish way of life with cash he stole from traders who pumped money into his startup, “SnoOwl,” an app designed to assist companies join with customers.

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After turning into mayor in 2016, prosecutors mentioned Correia began a pay-to-play scheme involving bribes from marijuana distributors in trade for letters of approval from town they wanted with a view to get a license.

Correia’s attorneys challenged, amongst different issues, prosecutors’ use of a video clip from a 2015 mayor’s race debate wherein Correia promised taxpayers that he would take their cash and and “spend it properly” — as he mentioned he had completed in his enterprise.

Choose Bruce Selya wrote within the three-judge panel’s opinion that “though the challenged feedback could have urged that the voters of Fall River had been duped, nothing within the document means that invoking the plight of these voters would have clouded the jury’s means to weigh the proof pretty.”