NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The wife of a former state representative and West Haven city employee was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the scheme to steal COVID-19 relief funds from the city.

A judge sentenced Lauren DiMassa, 38, formerly Lauren Knox, to six months behind bars, followed by five years of supervised release. She was ordered to serve the first six months of supervised release in home confinement and pay $147,776.10 in restitution.

According to prosecutors, the City of West Haven received an estimated $1,150,257 in COVID-19 relief funds between July 2020 through September 2021.

Between July 2020 and October 2021, Michael DiMassa, Lauren’s husband, who most recently served as the administrative assistant to West Haven’s city council and a state lawmaker, submitted fraudulent invoiced to West Haven for services related to a youth violence prevention program and for youth violence COVID-19-related expenses, prosecutors said.

The City of West Haven made 16 payments directly to Lauren DiMassa, totaling approximately $147,776.10. Prosecutors said these invoices listed charges for in-home counseling, cleaning supplies, special needs hourly service, wi-fi assistance for low/moderate-income families, counseling services, license fees, a fall youth clinic, meals, support group supplies, equipment rental, and youth clinic support group. 

According to prosecutors, the DiMassas never provided any services to West Haven, instead using the money for their own benefit.

Laura DiMassa is required to report to prison on May 23.

Her husband pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and agreed to pay $1,216,541.80 in restitution. He is awaiting sentencing.

Prosecutors said John Bernardo conspired with Michael DiMassa in 2021 to funnel more than $635,000 in bogus wire transfers to a shell company.

Bernardo was sentenced Wednesday to 13 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The judge also ordered him to pay $58,927.25 in restitution. He’s out on a $250,000 bond and must report to prison on May 22.

In December 2022, a jury found John Trasacco, whose companies received approximately $431,982 through the scheme, guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. He is also awaiting sentencing.