A West Haven man has been found guilty of conspiracy and fraud charges for his role in the theft of COVID-19 relief funds.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said 50-year-old John Trasacco’s trial began on Nov. 21 and the guilty verdict was announced Friday.
According to evidence presented in trial, Trasacco conspired with Michael DiMassa by submitting fraudulent invoices to the City of West Haven from two companies – L&H Company and JIL Sanitation Services.
Trasacco claimed money was needed for thousands of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) units, HVAC maintenance at multiple locations, COVID supplies for the Board of Education and cleaning services for several municipal and school buildings, according to authorities.
One of the school buildings Trasacco requested funding for had been vacant and abandoned for several years, officials said.
In 2020, the State of Connecticut was given money by the U.S. Department of the Treasury through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, which was established by the CARES Act, to help local governments pay costs incurred in response to the pandemic. From July 2020 to Sept. 2021, the City of West Haven received about $1.2 million in financial assistance, according to officials.
Trasacco received over $431,000 for fraudulent services. The jury found Trasacco guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud.
Officials said each of these charges carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
On Nov. 1, DiMassa pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud. He awaits sentencing.
A sentencing date for Trasacco has not yet been set. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 866-720-5721. You can also submit a complaint here.