Former Lawmaker Imprisoned for $1.2 Million Wire Fraud Scheme

December 9, 2023by Naomi Cramer

wire fraud punishments

In keeping with ABC Information, an ex-lawmaker from Connecticut was anticipated to show himself in to authorities on December 4, 2023, to start out serving a federal jail sentence for wire fraud.

Former state consultant Michael DiMassa, 32, had pleaded responsible to three counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in November 2022, having been arrested on October 20, 2021. (He resigned from Connecticut’s Home of Representatives 5 days later.)

DiMassa was convicted of stealing a complete of $1.2 million in COVID-19 reduction cash in addition to extra funds from town of West Haven.

Each DiMassa and his spouse acquired jail sentences for the crime

Earlier this yr, DiMassa, whose district included West Haven, acquired his wire-fraud punishment. Court paperwork point out that the previous lawmaker was sentenced to 27 months in jail.

He should additionally pay practically $866,000 in restitution and, after serving his jail sentence, should serve 5 years of supervised launch (probation). Throughout that point, he should additionally carry out 100 hours of neighborhood service.

And that’s not all. Below his sentencing phrases, after he’s launched from jail, DiMassa should take part in packages for treating playing habit.

He was initially set to report back to jail on July 31, 2023. Nonetheless, a decide postponed his give up date twice in order that he might take care of his new child child till his spouse and co-defendant, Lauren Knox, was launched from jail after serving a 6-month sentence for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She’d pleaded responsible to 1 rely of the offense.

Knox, who was pregnant with the couple’s second child when she began her sentence, was launched from jail on October 20, 2023, and is now in residence confinement.

Wire fraud netted over $1 million

The DiMassa couple’s wire fraud offenses netted them and their co-conspirators over $1 million in stolen funds, based on the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace for the District of Connecticut.

The lawyer’s workplace mentioned that DiMassa, whereas serving as a state consultant and as an administrative assistant for the West Haven Metropolis Council, was licensed to approve reimbursements of COVID-19 prices incurred by West Haven by way of funds from the federal authorities’s Coronavirus Support, Reduction and Financial Safety (CARES) Act.

He was certainly one of two individuals licensed by the Metropolis Council to behave as a mayoral designee so as to log out on pandemic-related bills pertaining to town’s allocation of federal grant cash.

The lawyer’s workplace mentioned that between July 2020 and September 2021, DiMassa “conspired with others to steal these funds and different West Haven funds by means of the submission of fraudulent invoices, and subsequent fee, for COVID reduction items and companies that had been by no means offered.”

Among the many invoices had been payments for a youth violence prevention program and “Youth Violence COVID-19 Related Bills.” Providers had been to incorporate:

  • In-home counseling
  • Particular wants hourly companies
  • A fall youth clinic
  • Wi-Fi help for low- and moderate-income households
  • Tools leases
  • Licensing charges
  • Meals 
  • Cleansing provides

DiMassa and his spouse billed town for these companies and acquired $147,776, the lawyer’s workplace mentioned.

DiMassa and a metropolis worker fashioned fraudulent firm to steal COVID-19 reduction funds

In a associated offense, DiMassa and John Bernardo, a metropolis worker with the Group Growth Administration, fashioned an organization that fraudulently billed town and its “COVID-19 Grant Division” for consulting companies offered to the West Haven Well being Division. Court paperwork point out that these companies had been by no means carried out.

Nonetheless, town paid the corporate $636,783 for fraudulent billings between February 2021 and September 2021. DiMassa then allegedly made a number of giant money withdrawals from the corporate’s checking account.

Court paperwork point out that a few of these withdrawals occurred about the identical time that he made a money “buy-in” of gaming chips at Mohegan Solar On line casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.

In June 2022, Bernardo pleaded responsible to 1 rely of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Later, he was sentenced to 13 months in jail. As well as, he was ordered to pay about $59,000 in restitution. 

DiMassa was additionally convicted of conspiring with John Trasacco, a West Haven businessman, to fraudulently invoice town greater than $431,000 for items and companies by way of 2 firms owned by Trasacco.

The lawyer’s workplace mentioned the products and companies included:

  • Delivering private protecting gear
  • Sustaining air flow, heating and air con items
  • Cleansing faculty buildings
  • Delivering COVID-19 provides to the Board of Training

One faculty constructing that was alleged to have been cleaned had been deserted and vacant for years.

Co-conspirator will get harshest sentence after trial

In December 2022, a jury discovered Trasacco responsible of 1 rely of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 1 rely of wire fraud. In April 2023, he was sentenced to eight years in jail and ordered to pay practically $144,000 in restitution. 

Of the 4 co-conspirators, solely Trasacco—who acquired the harshest sentence—didn’t settle for a pre-trial plea deal however relatively moved on to a jury trial.

Such pre-trial processes contain a defendant pleading responsible so as to keep away from a trial and, in alternate, maybe receiving a lesser punishment. At trial, DiMassa was a key witness in opposition to Trasacco for presidency prosecutors.

As for DiMassa, the New Haven Register reported that his lawyer, when requesting a second postponement of sentencing, mentioned his client would report back to a facility in Lompoc, California, when starting his 27-month sentence.

White-collar wire fraud is a critical crime

The white-collar crime of wire fraud is a critical offense, and, like different non-violent white-collar crimes, it could possibly carry extreme punishments, together with years in jail and steep fines or restitution.

Such crimes can contain a federal cost, as within the case above, or a state cost—or each.

Auckland legislation covers many sorts of white-collar offenses, together with wire fraud. Such crimes are usually charged because the offense of theft.

Maybe you or somebody in your family within the Auckland space faces a declare, accusation, allegation and even cost of a white-collar crime, comparable to:

  • Id theft
  • Antitrust violations
  • Compounding pharmacy fraud
  • Conspiracy 
  • Mail fraud

If that’s the case, you want one of the best Auckland white-collar Criminal defense lawyer or wire fraud lawyer you will discover to guard your authorized rights.

The award-winning Cramer Regulation Agency has been cited and honored for its dealing with of white-collar prison circumstances. Contact us in the present day to schedule a personal session in your case.

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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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