Connecticut State Rep. Resigns After Allegedly Pocketing $600,000 in COVID-19 Relief Funds

By Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs
Christopher Burroughs reports on breaking news for The Epoch Times.
October 27, 2021 Updated: October 27, 2021

Connecticut State Rep. Michael DiMassa, a Democrat, resigned Thursday following an investigation into allegations he misused more than $600,000 in COVID-19 relief funds.

DiMassa sent the letter to the Secretary of State Thursday to end his role as representative of the 116th district immediately.

“It is with deep regret that I hereby resign from the Office of State Representative of the 116th General Assembly effective immediately,” DiMassa wrote (pdf).

The state representative has faced accusations of misappropriating more than $600,000 in COVID-19 relief funds to the state, according to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

DiMassa surrendered to law enforcement on Oct. 20 following an investigation by the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, the FBI, and the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to a press release from the state’s attorney’s office.

He appeared before U.S. District Judge Sarah Merriam in New Haven and was released on a $250,000 bond.

“Beginning in February 2021, 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 2021 through September 2021, the City of West Haven paid Compass Investment Group a total of $636,783.70,” the statement said.

“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,” the statement added.

The charge against DiMassa was wire fraud. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

West Haven Mayor Nancy Rossi released a statement following DiMassa’s arrest.

“I want to commend the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on its speedy investigation and arrest of Rep. Michael A. DiMassa. If Representative 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. If convicted, all individuals involved should go to jail,” she wrote (pdf).

“As I stated when I found and reported this probable fraudulent activity, I will update our residents when information becomes available and when its release will not compromise the ongoing investigation,” Rossi added.

Christopher Burroughs reports on breaking news for The Epoch Times.