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Wife of former Connecticut state representative pleads guilty to a federal charge

 Lauren Knox, the wife of former Democratic lawmaker Michael DiMassa, leaves the federal courthouse in New Haven with her mother and attorney. Knox was arrested on Feb. 18, 2022 and charged with federal wire fraud as part of an alleged conspiracy to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the city of West Haven.
Andrew Brown
/
CT Mirror
Lauren Knox, the wife of former Democratic lawmaker Michael DiMassa, leaves the federal courthouse in New Haven with her mother and attorney. Knox was arrested on Feb. 18, 2022 and charged with federal wire fraud as part of an alleged conspiracy to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the city of West Haven.

The wife of former state Representative Micheal DiMassa, D-West Haven, has admitted to conspiring with her husband to steal the city's share of federal COVID-19 relief funds.

Lauren DiMassa faces 12 to 18 months in prison. Lauren and her husband stole nearly $150,000 from the city by collecting payments for services she never provided to a local youth violence prevention program.

She’s accused of cashing 16 checks, keeping a portion of the money and depositing the rest into a private account. The checks issued were meant for services such as in-home counseling, youth clinic support groups and meals, and Wi-Fi for low-income families.

Micheal DiMassa was also a municipal employee of West Haven at the time, and had the ability to approve the spending.

He’s accused of stealing over $1 million of state and federal pandemic relief money. Prosecutors say he spent tens of thousands of the stolen money at Mohegan Sun Casino. The case against him is still pending.

He also faces a handful of fraud and conspiracy charges.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.