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Day two of witnesses in the trial of former Fall River mayor Jasiel Correia brings common trend

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Photo courtesy of Josh Souza

The trial of former Fall River mayor Jasiel Correia II, continued today with day 2 of witnesses taking the stand.

The day began with Fall River orthodontist and SnoOwl investor David Cabeceiras finishing his testimony. Cabeceiras stated that he was worried and felt like he was being deceived when it was discovered that Correia had cashed out a large amount of the money from the checks he wrote. Cabeceiras also said his money was gone and he never received any of his money back. In cross examination, Reddington pressed Cabeceiras about his expectation on his investment and that an agreement that was created concerning not spending money on personal items was after Correia’s involvement in the SnoOwl app. The prosecution came back to Cabeceiras where he stated that he never gave Jasiel permission to spend his investment on personal items.

Prosecution: This case is about lying, cheating, stealing & shakedowns

Next to the witness stand was Stephen Miller. Miller stated in his testimony that before investing in SnoOwl, Correia told him that he wouldn’t be taking any money and that his payday was at the end. Miller stated that he thought his investment was being used for the SnoOwl app business. Miller said that he believed that his $70,000 was for a 7% investment in the company. Miller also stated that when the investigation into SnoOwl began, Correia told him that all of his investment was spent on SnoOwl. Miller says Correia initially told him that he was living off of the money from his college idea (Find It Network). Reddington stated that Miller told investigators that Correia could spend the money however he wanted as long as he produced the SnoOwl product. Reddington also said that Miller also stated to investigators that he would not have been upset if Correia drew a salary and that $50,000 a year would be reasonable.

By Reddington’s line of questioning to investors, it appears that he may be trying to portray that the investors did not fully know what they were investing in or knew what they were signing concerning contracts and that the SnoOwl app was a success due to it getting in the app store.

SnoOwl investor Mark Eisenberg was next to take the stand, but did so virtually. Eisenberg reiterated what other investors have stated concerning Correia telling him he made money selling a previous app to SnoOwl and did not tell him that he would be taking a salary. Eisenberg said in his experience, it is common for those in a startup to not take a salary. Eisenberg stated that he and Victor Martinez invested $25,000 a piece into the SnoOwl app for a 3.5% share each. Reddington stated in cross examination that Correia’s alleged personal expenses were bought before Eisenberg invested.

Victor Martinez was the fourth witness in today’s proceedings. Martinez stated that taking a salary while SnoOwl was pre-revenue would be suicide. Martinez backed up most of the statements made by Eisenberg.

Autobody shop owner Carl Garcia was the last witness of the day. Garcia was initially impressed with Correia along with his reported success with Find It Network who the prosecution has stated was actually worth little. Garcia paid his investment in SnoOwl in installments instead of a large lump sum because he wasn’t comfortable giving the large sum up front. Garcia stated he was trying to help the business get off the ground with several checks. According to Garcia, Jasiel and Cabeceiras told him that SnoOwl was on the cusp of being sold. The prosecution asked Garcia about giving permission for Correia to make personal expenses as has been asked of all investors and none of them have stated that they were asked or granted permission. When there were rumors of SnoOwl being investigated, Garcia and Correia met and Jasiel told him he was taking a salary when, according to Garcia, it had never been discussed previously.

The trial resumes again on Wednesday morning.

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