Connecticut Representative Accused of Stealing to Gamble

Representative Michael DiMassa

A representative from the state of Connecticut stands accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund casino trips to the Mohegan Sun Casino.

When voted into office within the United States, individuals acting as lawmakers in the position of representative, assembly person, or senator, the individual is expected to uphold the law. People in these positions of power are voted in based on what they say they can provide the residents of the state, be it help with health care, employment, or education. However, sometimes, the individual will act in a different manner and hurt the people of their state. instead of helping. This is the case with one lawmaker from Connecticut.

Representative Michael DiMassa of West Haven was arrested this week and charged with wire fraud in connection with alleged trips to the Mohegan Sun Casino. He appeared in court this week as well and was released on $250,000 bail.

Wire Fraud for Casino Gaming

Prosecutors in the case say that DiMassa created a business called Compass Investment Group LLC. He then used the company to steal funds from a federal COVID-19 program provided in West Haven. DiMassa is a representative for this area of Connecticut, and he works as an employee of the city as well. He was recently appointed as an administrative assistant for the City Council of West Haven.

In his position with the city, DiMassa had access to relief money that the federal government provided to the town of West Haven via the CARES Act when COVID-19 became an issue. In total, the city was given $1.2 million and DiMassa was able to use this money for his own gain instead of the city.

How Did He Do It?

According to the arrest affidavit, DiMassa allegedly used the Compass Investment Group as a consulting form for West Haven to help with the coronavirus relief effort. Several invoices were sent from the company in amounts starting at $11,000 and going as high as $87,000. The invoices were charged to the city from February 2021 to September 2021.

The invoices issued by Compass claimed to be bills for providing consultant services to the Health Department of the city. However, the investigation into the matter showed that no services were provided by Compass to the health facility.

With his position with the city, DiMassa was able to issue checks for the invoices sent by Compass. He did not need any other approval to do so. In some cases, an additional city official will need to sign the checks to, but that was not the case here.

DiMassa reportedly withdrew hundreds of thousands of dollars from Compass after the invoices were paid and use the money to travel to the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut to gamble. He allegedly visited the casino several times and purchase gaming chips in high dollar amounts. In just one month, he purchased over $57,000 in chips.

DiMassa must now face a trial and is considered innocent until proven guilty. He is no longer a member committee or leadership positions in the House until the legal proceedings are over. The investigation into the matter was conducted by the FBI, the Justice Department, and the Inspector General of Urban Development. All those involved feel that DiMassa was able to use his position to be at least partially responsible for what happened with the used funds. Calls are being made for DiMassa to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law if he is guilty of breaking the public trust and spending the funds in an illegal manner.

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