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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 20, 2021

West Haven State Representative and City Employee Charged in $600K Fraud Scheme

Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Christina D. Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, announced that MICHAEL DiMASSA, 30, of West Haven, was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging him with defrauding the City of West Haven of more than $600,000.

DiMassa surrendered to law enforcement this morning.  He appeared before U.S. District Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam in New Haven and was released on a $250,000 bond.

As alleged in the complaint, DiMassa has been employed by the City of West Haven for approximately 12 years and has most recently served as the Administrative Assistant to the City Council.  He is also currently a Connecticut State Representative.  In January 2021, DiMassa and another individual formed Compass Investment Group, LLC.  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.

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 complaint charges DiMassa with wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

Acting U.S. Attorney Boyle stressed that a criminal complaint is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General for Investigations.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray Miller.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Public Corruption
Component(s): 
Updated October 20, 2021