WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The wife of a former West Haven city employee and state representative pleaded guilty to her role in a scheme to steal COVID-19 relief funds from the city.
Last year, Michael DiMassa was arrested on a federal complaint for defrauding the City of West Haven for more than $630,000.
On Tuesday, Lauren Knox, 38, of West Haven, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for her involvement in the scheme.
According to court documents, DiMassa conspired with his wife to steal money that was provided to West Haven to alleviate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The documents show DiMassa signed off on these payment vouchers in 2020 and 2021. Records obtained by News 8 show that $147,000 went to Knox. The remaining portion went to Erika Pocock, a former Senate Republican staffer, and online boutique owner.
According to the documents, Knox and Pocock were paid for a variety of services. Knox was paid for a youth violence prevention program and billed the city for PPE, counseling, and staffing costs. Invoices from Pocock show charges for hand sanitizer, tote bags, face masks, and vaccine cardholders.
Knox faces a maximum term of 30 years in prison. Sentencing is not scheduled at this time.