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Former State Rep. Michael DiMassa, three others, face new charges in theft of federal COVID-relief funds

Four people accused of misusing COVID-relief dollars meant for the City of West Haven were indicted today, according tothe U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Connecticut.

A federal grand jury in Hartford indicted former State Rep. Michael DiMassa and three others, charged in the theft of more than $1 million in federal COVID-relief funds.

DiMassa was arrested in October and resigned from the legislature. DiMassa is facing additional charges connected to Friday's indictments.

An LLC connected to DiMassa and others billed the city for services that were not performed, according to the indictment. It also alleges that DiMassa and Lauren Knox, who are now married, submitted fraudulent invoices for services related to a Youth Violence Prevention Program and for Youth Violence COVID-19 Associated Expenses.

DiMassa was charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud. Three others were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and one count of wire fraud. Each charge carries a maximum 20 years in prison.

All pleaded not guilty to the charges and were released on bond.

Cassandra Basler oversees Connecticut Public’s flagship daily news programs, Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She’s also an editor of the station’s limited series podcast, 'In Absentia' and producer of the five-part podcast Unforgotten: Connecticut’s Hidden History of Slavery.

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