Today, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut announced the arrest of Democratic State Representative Michael DiMassa for allegedly defrauding over $600,000 from the city of West Haven. The federal wire fraud charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
According to a press release from the prosecutor, Mr. DiMassa supposedly formed an LLC with another person and used that LLC to bill the City of West Haven for consulting services that were not in fact provided. Allegedly, Mr. DiMassa made withdrawals from the LLC at about the same time he made large chip purchases at Mohegan Sun casino. One might suspect the government to argue that Mr. DiMassa’s fraud was the result of a gambling addiction.
Of course, nothing has been proven as of yet. But if Mr. DiMassa is in fact convicted of wire fraud for allegedly stealing $600,000, he is likely looking at a Federal Sentencing Guidelines range of between 33 and 57 months. In federal cases, crimes have minimum and maximum penalties, but judges use an advisory system called the Federal Sentencing Guidelines to narrow down the sentencing range. Those guidelines give defendants and attorneys an idea of what to expect at sentencing, but are nevertheless just approximations. This table provides the guidance.