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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 to the 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 is a radio reporter and editor at Connecticut Public. She has covered juvenile justice, the opioid crisis, immigration, social justice and inequity. You can find her reporting in New Haven and Fairfield counties. She previously worked at WSHU Public Radio and her work has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Here & Now.
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