Democrat State Rep Quits Under Allegations Of Stealing Over $600k From Relief Funds

A resignation has come down from the office of a Representative in the Connecticut State Legislature in the wake of being arrested on the federal criminal charges of defrauding the city of West Haven of money in excess of $600,000 stemming from COVID relief funds.

Michael DiMassa, the Democratic State Rep. in question, put forth their resignation to the Connecticut Secretary of State, along with quitting his position of being an aide to the City Council of West Haven. He has been slammed with the accusation of defrauding the city out of money well in excess of $630,000 in federal funds that were slated to be used for COVID-19 relief efforts.

As stated by federal officials in a statement acquired by the Stamford Advocate, DiMassa and another as of yet unnamed person founded a consulting firm named Compass Investment Group, LLC back at the first of the year. This new company then proceeded to bill the city of West Haven, and in particular its ‘COVID-19 Grant Department’ for its supposed consulting services that were never actually performed.

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“From February 2021 through September 2021, the City of West Haven paid Compass Investment Group a total of $636,783.70,” continued the statement. “It is 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.”

There was also obtained an affidavit from one of the FBI agents that was working on the case that described the allegations taking place in great detail. As stated in this document, “from February 12, 2021 through April 30, 2021, seven checks were made payable to COMPASS INVESTMENT GROUP, LLC from the City of West Haven and were deposited to the business account. The checks ranged in value from $11,847.50 to $87,650.0. These funds were then used for twenty-one cash withdrawals that were conducted by MICHAEL DIMASSA, ranging from $8,000 to $10,000, for a total of $178,150.”

The same document also goes on to list a few other instances in which DiMassa took part in large cash withdrawals and proceeded to make large purchases at Mohegan Sun.

If “DiMassa broke the public’s trust and his oath to protect and serve his constituents, and is found guilty of fraudulent activity, I am demanding that he and any other individual(s) involved be held accountable and prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” stated Nancy Rossi, the Mayor of  West Haven, in a release. “If convicted, all individuals involved should go to jail.” Rossi also announced an investigation into the chances of fraud being committed using money that was given to the city by the CARES Act.

Matt Ritter, the Connecticut State House Speaker, and Jason Rojas, the Majority Leader, stated as part of a joint statement in the wake of the arrest that DiMassa had had his committee assignments stripped, and that they were very carefully monitoring the ordeal. “Elected officials are rightly held to a high standard of conduct and trust,” they stated. “Even the slightest hint of wrongdoing bruises that trust.”

“The allegations against Mike DiMassa are serious and very troubling,” stated Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont in a release. “If the allegations are true, he has not only broken the law but also betrayed the public trust. He had no choice but to resign. The citizens of West Haven and all of Connecticut deserve honest government.”

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