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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 28, 2021

Associate of Former Fall River Mayor Sentenced for Extorting Marijuana Vendors and Making False Statements

BOSTON – An associate and co-conspirator of the recently convicted former Mayor of Fall River, Jasiel F. Correia II, was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for extortion and lying to federal agents about his role in assisting Correia to obtain money and property from local marijuana vendors.

Antonio Costa, 52, of Fall River, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to three years of probation, with the first 15 months to be in home confinement with electronic monitoring, and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service to benefit the city of Fall River. Costa was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and $107,550 in forfeiture. In September 2019, Costa pleaded guilty to two counts of extortion conspiracy, two counts of extortion and one count of false statements.

Costa conspired with Correia and others to obtain cash bribes and other payments from local marijuana vendors in exchange for non-opposition letters and community host agreements. Correia, as Mayor, was solely responsible for approving all non-opposition letters in Fall River. Costa facilitated the bribe payments between two marijuana vendors and Correia in return for non-opposition letters. In one instance, Costa kept between $20,000 and $30,000 for himself and kept all of the approximately $77,550 paid by another vendor in cash and marijuana. In addition, Costa gave Correia a Rolex watch in return for the City’s activation of a water line to a commercial building owned by Costa.

On May 14, 2021, Correia was convicted by a federal jury of nine counts of wire fraud, four counts of filing false tax returns, four counts of extortion conspiracy and four counts of extortion. He is awaiting sentencing which is scheduled for Sept. 20, 2021.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Ramsey E. Covington, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Christina Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Regional Office; and Glenn A. Cunha, Massachusetts Inspector General made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zachary Hafer and David Tobin of Mendell’s Criminal Division prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Component(s): 
Updated June 28, 2021