Ever since President Trump announced the first financial relief during COVID for people and businesses, the American people have been suspicious that others would file for, receive, and then misuse these funds. Given the level of experience some people have in these matters, it’s not a gigantic stretch to expect it.
What many didn’t expect was the level of this corruption in our own government. Certainly, some of the mainstream media outlets proclaimed that Republicans would be the ones doing it. In their minds, because Trump was President, he would allow people to get away with it. As we have seen so far, it’s not the right side that’s doing it. If anything, the right avoided taking it unless it was truly needed.
As per usual, the people using these programs to the fullest were the liberals. Given how their platform pushes free money at all costs, it’s no surprise they were the ones to misuse the funds first, and best. In the latest edition of problems with these programs, a Connecticut State representative, his wife, a former business partner, and one other person all got pinched for their roles.
Michael DiMassa, a West Haven Democrat has pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud conspiracy. His wife and business partner already plead guilty earlier this year, and the fourth person is awaiting trial.
Totaling over $1.2 million, DiMassa spent the West Haven COVID relief funds all over, with much of it coming at the Mohegan Sun casino in eastern Connecticut. This serves as not only one of the biggest cases of wire fraud in recent news from Connecticut but also one of the more prominent cases of a politician getting caught with fraud from COVID.
DiMassa was able to use his dual appointment to help get his hands on this cash as quickly as possible. Sitting as both a state representative and an aide to the West Haven City Council, he was able to use his city position to approve the reimbursement of COVID expenditures. This meant he could steal the funds by faking expense reports and falsifying documents.
For her role, Lauren DiMassa not only is the dutiful wife but she was also paid just under $148,000 for her services to the city. Services the city never received. As a duo, they submitted fraudulent invoices from things like youth violence prevention and instead used the money to fund their lifestyle. Upon sentencing, she returned most of the money and will be sentenced in January.
John Bernardo, Michael DiMassa’s former business partner who served as a housing specialist for the city also took on a role in the theft. He too has pleaded guilty to a single wire fraud charge and will be sentenced on November 29th.
The fourth and final person, a local business owner named John Trasacco, has oddly enough pleaded not guilty. According to prosecutors, he has a link to these fraudulent services, and also submitted COVID-related work invoices to the city, but never provided the services. His trial will begin on November 21st.
These kinds of cases have been springing up across the country. While the paycheck protection program had the highest number of fraud cases, those weren’t tallying up to six figures and more as this case did. Instead, they were often well below 100 grand, and they just plea out.
Unlike those criminals, DiMassa, his wife, and his two associates weren’t smart enough to keep it under wraps, or small enough that many wouldn’t notice. Instead, they were brazen and likely emboldened by the positions DiMassa held. It’s amazing just how corrupt the politicians on the left become with just the littlest bit of “power”. Then again, DiMassa’s power was really only in his own mind, and he certainly wasn’t sharp enough to do it. Just like most liberals.