A Democratic mayor from Massachusetts, who was first elected at age 23, was arrested Thursday after a federal probe found that he allegedly stole nearly $250,000 from investors to fund his lavish lifestyle and pay down his student debts.
Mayor of Fall River Jasiel Correia, now 26, was arrested after allegedly stealing $231,447 from investors – money that was supposed to develop an app which connected businesses with target consumers.
The app, SnowOwl, received $360,000 from investors but federal authorities say that most of that money was spent by Correia.
He allegedly spent tens of thousands of dollars on designer clothing, a Mercedes-Benz and jewelry for an ex-girlfriend. He also used the money for personal travel, adult entertainment and campaign funds, and even paid down his student debt.
FBI agent Hank Shaw called Correia “shameless and greedy.”
"Mr. Correia blurred the lines between public business and private duties, using investor funds as his own personal ATM, systemically looting almost a quarter-million dollars,” he continued.
He is charged with wire fraud and filing false tax returns – something prosecutors allege he did as soon as he learned he was under federal investigation.
Correia was elected as city councilor in 2013 as a Democrat and then he was elected as mayor of Fall River in 2015, just one term later. He easily won reelection.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors said at the time he was the youngest mayor to run a city as large as Fall River, with a population of roughly 87,000.
In a statment to Fox News, Correia denied any wrongdoing saying he is "innocent of all the allegations and charges made against" him, adding he will "absolutely not" resign from office.
"I look forward to my day in court to share my side of the story and to clear my name."
Fall River is most famous for Lizzie Borden, who was accused but later acquitted of killing her father and stepmother with an ax in 1892.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.