Wife of ex-Connecticut city employee admits role in scheme to steal COVID relief funds

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WEST HAVEN, CT (1010 WINS) – The wife of a former West Haven city employee pleaded guilty on Tuesday to submitting fake invoices and conspiring with her husband to steal money from the COVID relief fund, Attorney for the District of Connecticut Vanessa Roberts Avery announced.

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Lauren DiMassa, 38, of West Haven, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge for her role in a scheme to steal COVID relief funds from the City of West Haven with her husband.

Between July 2020 and October 2021, DiMassa with her husband, who at the time was a West Haven city employee, submitted fake invoices to West Haven for services related to a Youth Violence Prevention Program and for Youth Violence COVID Associated Expenses.

These invoices were for in-home counseling, cleaning supplies, special needs hourly service, wi-fi assistance for low/moderate-income families, counseling services, license fees, a fall youth clinic, meals, support group supplies, equipment rental, and youth clinic support group, according to documents.

The payment checks, approximately $147, 776, were made out directly to DiMassa. The couple used the money for personal expenses.

DiMassa pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years.

DiMassa’s husband, who has been charged with related offenses, has not yet been convicted.

The investigation is ongoing.

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