Once viewed as a rising star in the Democratic party, former Massachusetts mayor Jasiel Correia was sentenced to six years in prison on Tuesday after being convicted in May on charges including fraud and extortion of hundreds of thousands of dollars tied to local marijuana businesses.
The ex-mayor of Fall River, 29, showed no emotion as U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock blasted him, saying that “City Hall was for sale” during his mandate.
Judge Woodlock, reported MassLive, threw out several convictions against Correia accusing him of deceiving investors who backed a smartphone app, dubbed SnoOwl, which he designed to help businesses connect with consumers.
Prosecutors disclosed that Correia spent nearly two-thirds of the sum he received from investors on his lavish lifestyle.
Correia, however, insisted on his innocence, saying that was the reason he turned down a plea deal and that the trial was politically motivated.
“The justice system has failed us,” Correia said after the judge handed down the sentence.
According to ABC News, the defense had asked for three years, stressing that Correia also did much good for Fall River.
“None of that excuses what happened here, but I think it’s required to have a fuller picture of the man and to understand how somebody might get derailed but still have hope to contribute in a future chapter of life,” said Correia’s attorney William Fick.