BOSTON (WPRI) – Genoveva Andrade, the ex-chief of staff to former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, has again reached a plea deal with prosecutors that would spare her prison time if approved by a judge.
The plea deal filed Tuesday comes just three weeks before she was scheduled to go to trial at federal court in Boston. Her trial originally started in December, but was suspended during jury selection after a witness tested positive for COVID-19.
In the new agreement, prosecutors are recommending Andrade be sentenced to one year of probation and a $10,000 fine in exchange for her guilty plea on just one of the four remaining counts against her, dismissing the rest.
In June, U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock rejected a previously negotiated plea deal which also came with no prison time. The deal at that time was a specific type of plea that could not be altered by Woodlock. He rejected it, saying at the time that Andrade should be incarcerated for her misdeeds.
The new agreement filed on Tuesday does not bind the judge to the sentencing recommendation made by both parties, meaning Woodlock can hand down a stiffer punishment. On Wednesday, a hearing to consider the plea was scheduled for March 7.
In the new plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop the most serious charges that Andrade gave Correia a kickback, and helped him shake down a businessman looking to open a marijuana dispensary in Fall River. Instead, Andrade agreed to plead guilty to one count of making false statements to federal investigators as they were closing in on her then-boss.
The deal says she will admit specifically to the third false statement listed in the indictment, where she claimed the $22,800 she gave to Correia was just a loan. Prosecutors allege it was a salary kickback, though Correia’s jury acquitted him of that particular count.
Back in December 2020, Andrade pleaded guilty to six total counts of extortion, conspiracy, bribery and making false statements, admitting that she helped Correia in his scheme to shake down a marijuana vendor for bribes in exchange for his approval of their proposed pot shops.
Correia was convicted by a jury last year of 21 counts including extortion, conspiracy and filing false tax returns. At his sentencing, Woodlock tossed out 10 convictions on a technicality and sentenced the former mayor to six years in prison. Correia has appealed and is scheduled to report to a federal prison in New Hampshire on March 4.