Michael DiMassa, a Connecticut state representative and employee of the City of West Haven, was charged by federal officials with defrauding the city of more than $600,000.
According to a statement released by Leonard Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Christina Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, DiMassa, 30, has been employed by the City of West Haven for approximately 12 years and has most recently served as the Administrative Assistant to the City Council.
The US Attorney’s Office alleges in January of this year, DiMassa and another individual formed Compass Investment Group, LLC. Authorities say beginning in February, Compass Investment Group LLC fraudulently billed the City of West Haven and its “COVID-19 Grant Department” for consulting services purportedly provided to the West Haven Health Department that were not performed.
From February through September 2021, the City of West Haven paid Compass Investment Group a total of $636,783.70, the complaint states.
It was further alleged that DiMassa made several large cash withdrawals from the Compass Investment Group LLC bank account, some of which were made shortly before or after he was recorded as having made a large cash “buy-in” of gaming chips at the Mohegan Sun Casino.
The complaint charges DiMassa with wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
DiMassa surrendered to law enforcement Wednesday morning. He appeared before US District Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam in New Haven and was released on a $250,000 bond.
Acting US Attorney Boyle stressed that a criminal complaint is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General for Investigations.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Ray Miller.