The lawyer for former Fall River mayor Jasiel F. Correia II is seeking a three-year prison sentence for his client, according to court documents filed Monday.
Correia, who was elected mayor of Fall River in 2015 at age 23, was convicted in May of 21 felony counts, including extortion, wire fraud, and filing false tax returns. Last week, federal prosecutors asked that Correia spend 11 years behind bars.
In a sentencing memorandum filed Monday in federal court, his attorney, William Fick, compared Correia’s story with the legend of Icarus, saying his client “flew early, high, and fast” and his conviction “points to a hubristic loss of moral compass and, now, a crash into the sea.”
“But Mr. Correia’s story need not end there,” Fick wrote. “The proposed sentence imposes just punishment and makes an example of Mr. Correia while still affording him a meaningful opportunity for redemption as a relatively young man.”
In addition to prison time, Fick said three years of probation. plus mandatory restitution and “appropriate forfeiture,” would “provide additional, meaningful components of punishment.”
Prosecutors are seeking a sentence of 11 years in prison, plus two years of supervised release, $20,473 in restitution to the IRS, $566,740 in forfeiture, and $298,190 in restitution to five investors who lost money they put into SnoOwl, a smartphone app Correia helped create in 2013 while attending Providence College.
Correia was found guilty of nine counts of wire fraud, four counts of filing false tax returns, four counts of extortion conspiracy, and four counts of extortion. He was also convicted of demanding bribes ranging from $25,000 to $250,000 from four businessmen who needed his approval to open marijuana dispensaries in Fall River.
He was acquitted of three charges, including one bribery charge stemming from allegations that he forced his chief of staff to give him half her salary and a stipend she received for working during a snow emergency.
In the sentencing memo, Fick said Correia has been working for his wife’s family restaurant business as his criminal case has proceeded. The memo included several letters from members of Correia’s family, including his wife, his parents, and his grandmother, appealing to the judge for a lighter sentence, as well as a letter of support from a Fall River priest and a North Dartmouth pastor.
“Still in his twenties, Mr. Correia has great potential to learn from this chapter of his life, make amends, fulfill his financial obligations, and contribute constructively to his family and community in the years ahead,” Fick wrote.
Correia, 29, is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 20.
Nick Stoico can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NickStoico.