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Wife of Former West Haven Employee Pleads Guilty in Stolen COVID Funds Case

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NBC Connecticut

The wife of former West Haven city employee Michael DiMassa pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiring with her husband to steal COVID-19 relief funds from the City of West Haven, according to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

Lauren DiMassa, formerly known as Lauren Knox, entered the guilty plea in front of a judge in federal court in Hartford.

Between July 2020 and October 2021, Michael DiMassa submitted fraudulent invoiced to West Haven for services related to a youth violence prevention program and for youth violence COVID-19-related expenses, according to the U.S. attorney.

The city made 16 payments to DiMassa totaling $147,776.10. The invoices listed charged for in-home counseling, cleaning supplies, special needs hourly service, wi-fi assistance for low and moderate-income families, licensing fees, equipment rentals, meals, and a fall youth clinic.

The DiMassas never provided any services to West Haven, according to prosecutors.

Lauren DiMassa pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

Her sentencing date has not been set.

Michael DiMassa has pleaded not guilty to federal wire fraud charges.

John Bernardo, who was also charged in connection with the case, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge last month.

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