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Judge throws out some convictions in case of Jasiel Correia


A federal judge on Monday said he expects to formally throw out several of the convictions facing a disgraced Massachusetts mayor. Former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, 29, was in a federal courtroom in Boston where attorneys debated several motions for acquittal ahead of his expected sentencing. Correia was convicted in May on multiple counts of wire fraud, filing false tax returns and extortion.The jury convicted Correia on 21 of the 24 federal charges he faced. After hearing several hours of arguments Monday, Judge Douglas Woodlock granted the acquittal for six wire fraud counts. He determined that prosecutors failed to show that wires – or electronic communications – were used to process the checks Correia got from the investors. The judge also ruled that prosecutors failed to prove two counts of filing false tax returns. The judge noted that the prosecution can appeal his decisions. Arguments on additional motions continued into the late afternoon, causing Woodlock to delay sentencing on the surviving convictions until Tuesday. The trimming of Correia’s convictions will undoubtedly impact the punishment he receives.Prosecutors had asked for 11 years in prison, pointing to what they described as Correia’s continued defiance. The former mayor’s lawyers had asked for three years behind bars.Correia was convicted of stealing from investors who backed his smartphone app and extorting tens of thousands of dollars from marijuana businesses that wanted to operate in the city. Woodlock referred to the extortion acts as the “core” of the case. Officials said he pocketed $400,000 and spent most of it on things like cars, casinos and lavish items, including a $300 bottle of champagne.Testimony in Correia’s trial lasted two weeks, during which time attorneys painted contrasting pictures of a shrewd con man driven by greed to line his own pockets or a victim of lies who never committed a crime.Correia insisted since his 2018 arrest that he was innocent and blamed the accusations on his political enemies. He never took the stand and the defense called just three witnesses.During his time in his office, Correia survived a recall election, but one month after the extortion charges were filed, voters threw him out of office.

A federal judge on Monday said he expects to formally throw out several of the convictions facing a disgraced Massachusetts mayor.

Former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, 29, was in a federal courtroom in Boston where attorneys debated several motions for acquittal ahead of his expected sentencing. Correia was convicted in May on multiple counts of wire fraud, filing false tax returns and extortion.

The jury convicted Correia on 21 of the 24 federal charges he faced.

ex-fall river mayor jasiel correia arrives for his sentencing at federal court in boston.

Ex-Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia arrives for his sentencing hearing at Federal Court in Boston on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021.

After hearing several hours of arguments Monday, Judge Douglas Woodlock granted the acquittal for six wire fraud counts. He determined that prosecutors failed to show that wires – or electronic communications – were used to process the checks Correia got from the investors. The judge also ruled that prosecutors failed to prove two counts of filing false tax returns.

The judge noted that the prosecution can appeal his decisions.

Arguments on additional motions continued into the late afternoon, causing Woodlock to delay sentencing on the surviving convictions until Tuesday. The trimming of Correia’s convictions will undoubtedly impact the punishment he receives.

Prosecutors had asked for 11 years in prison, pointing to what they described as Correia’s continued defiance. The former mayor’s lawyers had asked for three years behind bars.

Correia was convicted of stealing from investors who backed his smartphone app and extorting tens of thousands of dollars from marijuana businesses that wanted to operate in the city. Woodlock referred to the extortion acts as the “core” of the case.

Officials said he pocketed $400,000 and spent most of it on things like cars, casinos and lavish items, including a $300 bottle of champagne.

Testimony in Correia’s trial lasted two weeks, during which time attorneys painted contrasting pictures of a shrewd con man driven by greed to line his own pockets or a victim of lies who never committed a crime.

Correia insisted since his 2018 arrest that he was innocent and blamed the accusations on his political enemies. He never took the stand and the defense called just three witnesses.

During his time in his office, Correia survived a recall election, but one month after the extortion charges were filed, voters threw him out of office.

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