State news

Guilty plea entered in theft of COVID-19 relief funds

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A former West Haven City Hall employee has pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud charge for his part in the theft of more than $600,000 in federal money that was supposed to be spent for pandemic relief. John Bernardo pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court. According to state business records, Bernardo and former state Rep. Michael DiMassa, a West Haven Democrat, formed Compass Investment Group, which received federal COVID-19 relief funds for services that were never provided. Bernardo was accused of collecting about $50,000 and said in court that he did not realize the full extent of the fraud. Dimassa and two others await trial on fraud and conspiracy charges.


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