Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correira. (Facebook)
FALL RIVER (WBZ-AM) -- The mayor of Fall River has been arrested on fraud charges, accused of systematically looting funds to the tune of roughly a quarter million dollars.
Mayor Jasiel Correira, the youngest mayor in the city's history when he was elected in 2015, admitted last year that he was under FBI investigation. He was taken into custody Thursday morning in his home.
Correira, now 26, is accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars investors put into his company, SnoOwl, and using the money to pay for what investigators describe as his "lavish" lifestyle and political ambitions.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling released Correira's indictment, which alleges Correira used the cash to buy a Mercedes, and spent tens of thousands of dollars on airfare, luxury hotels, casinos, and adult entertainment.
$231,000 out of almost $370,000 provided by investors was spent on things not related to SnoOwl, says the US Attorney. @wbznewsradio— KarynRegalWBZ (@Karynregal) October 11, 2018
"His actions were underhanded, shameless, and greedy," FBI Special Agent In Charge Hank Shaw said at a press conference Thursday, before listing some of the things Correira allegedly spent money on. "Ten thousand dollar payment for a Mercedes-Benz. Jewelry for an ex-girlfriend and designer clothing. Correira also used approximately $46,000 to pay down student loans."
The indictment also says Correira allegedly filed false tax returns in 2013 and 2014, then apparently amended them in 2017 after finding out he was under federal investigation.
Linda Pereira, the former Vice President of the City Council, ran against Correira last year and lost. She reminded that Correira is innocent until proven guilty.
"Right now at this point he's been accused of breaking the law, he's been indicted," she said. "But he continues to be presumed innocent until those charges are proven in court, because that's our system of justice."
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports