The trial of former Fall River mayor and city councilor Jasiel Correia II went into the fourth day of hearing witness testimony.
Dr. Stafford Sheehan was back on the stand to begin the day’s proceedings. The prosecution began by questioning Sheehan about a SnoOwl patent. According to Sheehan, he attempted to get the patent, which was pending, to be fully secured, however Correia never followed through with the information that was passed on, according to Sheehan. While Sheehan no longer wanted to be CEO, he attempted to get SnoOwl licensed. Sheehan appeared to strike a non-binding licensing agreement. Sheehan believed it was a favorable licensing agreement for the company and became frustrated that Correia did not sign it.
In cross examination, Reddington tried to tie Sheehan as CEO or acting CEO of SnoOwl after the MOU.
Sergio Arias, who owns a business in North Attleboro, was next to take the stand. Arias hired SnoOwl and Correia to build his website for $4,500. Arias wrote a series of checks. The checks were initially made out to SnoOwl and then to SnoKimo. Arias was not satisfied with the website as he stated it never worked properly and he never received a refund. According to Arias, he and his friend bumped into Correia at a lounge in RI. Arias’ friend reportedly told Correia to give Arias his money back. Arias stated that Correia replied “Do you know who I am? I am a government official”. Jasiel told his friend that he could have him arrested. Correia stated that he would call him and fix the issue, however, according to Arias, that never happened.
Next to the witness stand was Natalie Cleveland via Zoom. Cleveland dated Correia for approximately 3 1/2 years during the SnoOwl time period. Cleveland stated that she believed that Correia paid for the gifts, trips, and hotel stays from the previous sale of Find It Networks. The prosecution went through a long list of high priced purchases made by Correia that Cleveland verified were purchased for her, for others, and for himself which included several pieces of jewelry, meals and trips. Cleveland confirms that the expenses were personal and not for business. According to Cleveland, a friend of Correia’s, Patricia Tod, was allowing him to stay at a Newport Condo for free.
In cross examination, Cleveland states that Correia talked quite a bit about SnoOwl. Reddington tried to tie visits to the Intercontinental as business expenses. He asked Cleveland if she saw Correia go off with Abdulla, who was a concierge there, to talk about SnoOwl or if she saw him placing business cards. Cleveland stated no on both counts and then clarified that SnoOwl probably came up, but not concerning advertising. The three, along with Abdulla’s wife did have dinner, according to Cleveland.
The 4th witness to take the stand today was CPA Terrence Charest. Charest struck an agreement with the DOJ for immunity based on his truthful testimony. Charest was asked to clean up the books of SnoOwl well into its existence. There were thousands of debit card charges and restaurant activity on the bank statements which Charest thought might be personal expenses. He also stated that there was much more personal activity on the statements compared to business activity. Charest said that he did not receive all information needed such as investor agreements. While mayor of Fall River, Charest said he met with Correia and was told that he had no other partners in SnoOwl. According to Charest’s testimony, Correia classified expenses as business expenses that turned out to be personal such as a conference that ended up being a trip to see his girlfriend and a $10,000 purchase he labeled software that, according to the prosecution, turned out to be a Mercedes. Charest stated he only dealt with Correia when classifying what expenses were personal and which were business. Charest filed amended returns in 2013 and 2014 with information provided by Correia. A document was put into evidence showing Correia taking a salary of over $33,000 although according to Charest, Correia never told him he was taking a salary. Charest stated that in 2015, Correia spent $132,000 in personal expenses.
In cross examination, Charest admits that the previous bookkeeping was sloppy and states that Correia told him that Bernier took care of bookkeeping and legal stuff. Reddington presses to Charest that trips to restaurants and strip clubs could involve employees and turn out to be business expenses.
Next witness on the docket was Fall River mill owner Patricia Tod. Tod, who owns the condo in Newport, stated that Correia rented the condo from her for $2,000 a month for a few months. Correia also leased mill space in one of Tod’s mills for his 1Zero4 business academy on Anawan Street.
In cross examination, Tod stated that Correia was passionate about Fall River and improving it. Tod also said she used the SnoOwl app. Reddington states that Correia signed a lease in the mill on behalf of SnoOwl.
The 6th witness in today’s proceedings was Melissa Ahaesy who founded the former Fall River Children’s Aquarium. Correia donated $3,000, out of an initially discussed $5,000, to get the Aquarium off the ground. According to Ahaesy, Correia said the donation was from him and his family. The check was a SnoOwl check. Ahaesy had a plaque made to Correia and his family to honor the donation. It was placed in one of the rooms at the Aquarium.
In cross examination, Reddington seemed to press Ahaesy and portray her as harassing and continuing to bother Correia for the donated $3,000 and then $2,000 more that was never donated.
Carlos Cesar, president of the Flint Neighborhood Association, was the 7th and final witness today. Cesar and the association bought the Davol School for $5,121 through fundraising. Correia made a donation of $4,000 for Cesar to purchase the school and did so with a SnoOwl check. Cesar was grateful for the donation because he stated the purchase likely would not have happened without it, but said that Correia never mentioned SnoOwl.
In cross examination, Reddington asked Cesar if he ever put on SnowOwl stickers with Correia and he said no. Cesar denies that he ever tried to run for mayor of Fall River. In what became a somewhat heated exchange, Reddington states that Cesar was a supporter of Linda Pereira who ran against Correia.
The trial resumes for a scheduled half day on Friday.