representative of the State of West Haven. resigns from city job as criminal investigation into where COVID funding has gone continues

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WEST HAVEN, Connecticut (WTNH) – State Representative Mike DiMassa officially resigned his post as administrative assistant to city council on Thursday. The 30-year-old is free on a quarter-million-dollar bond, charged with wire fraud in an alleged scheme to defraud his hometown of West Haven on more than $ 600,000 in COVID CARES ACT relief money .

RELATED: State Representative Michael DiMassa Charged With Defrauding City of West Haven Over $ 630,000

State records show that the company “Compass Investment Group, LLC” was established in January 2021. In the affidavit, the FBI special agent wrote that the company had two executives, Michael DiMassa and the Person 1. Adding, the business address indicated appears to be the home address of Person 1.

News 8 went to the address. The son of City of West Haven employee John Bernardo opened the door. He has the same name as his father.

John Bernardo said: “He never says where he’s going. It always stays for him. He’s always been like that, which is why I honestly don’t know where he is.

FBI special agents allege DiMassa and Person 1 opened a bank account and funneled COVID relief from CARES ACT to “Compass Investment Group LLC.”

Authorities say the deposits caused the transmission of an interstate wire. The bills to the city listed the charges, including hundreds of hours of counseling services that the federal government said were never performed.

RELATED: Lawmakers and Officials Respond to Arrest of Representative Michael DiMassa

News 8 went to the legal agent listed on the “Compass Investment Group LLC” business file. Lawyer Joseph Fournier spoke by phone with News 8’s chief political correspondent, Jodi Latina.

Lawyer Fournier says, “I haven’t spoken to him for a while so I’m not really sure what’s going on. I really don’t feel comfortable talking about the client until I talk to them first.

Latina asked, “Do you know he was arrested yesterday by the FBI?”

Fournier replied: “I have no comment on this.”

Twenty-one cash withdrawals were reportedly made by DiMassa. The affidavit indicates that Mohegan Sun Patron Gaming records indicate that DiMassa executed a token cash “buy-in” on two occasions for an estimated amount of $ 15,000.

It’s unclear where the rest of the money is, leaving West Haven taxpayers concerned.

Renee Cullen asked, “Where will this money come from? Hopefully not the taxpayers.

Citizen Paul DiMatteo was saddened by the revelations: “It is shocking to see this happening nowadays.

Manny Garcia was blunt. “Sounds good for someone who is a con artist.”

Sources told News 8 that the town hall offices in Bernardo and DiMassa would be locked; no one is allowed to enter.

Court records show that over an eight-month period, the city paid the Compass Investment Group more than $ 636,000 for COVID work.

Mayor Nancy Rossi and council voted in December to place DiMassa and the CFO on the CARES ACT COVID fundraising documents as “mayor designate.”

“I am very angry and very sad that this money was used for someone else’s pleasure, allegedly,” the mayor told us.

News 8 also learned that a state oversight board may not have approved COVID payments as required. West Haven has been under a strict Level 3 agreement with the state as part of municipal financial restructuring since 2017. An audit is underway.

The US attorney’s office said the investigation was ongoing. DiMassa is due to return to court on December 10.
Republican leaders on Capitol Hill are calling for a public hearing next week on how COVID funding is being handled in the state in light of the West Haven case.

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