Two Men Charged in Connection with Hartford Soccer Stadium Project
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in New England, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven returned a 26-count indictment yesterday charging MITCHELL ANDERSON, 51, of Avon, and JAMES C. DUCKETT JR., 44, of Somers, with conspiracy, fraud and related offenses stemming from the City of Hartford’s efforts to revitalize Dillon Stadium and a plan to bring a professional soccer team to the city.
ANDERSON was arrested this morning at this residence. He appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam in New Haven and was released on a $100,000 bond. DUCKETT surrendered to the FBI in Las Vegas, and is expected to appear in Las Vegas federal court tomorrow.
According to indictment, in September 2014, Hartford entered into a professional services agreement with ANDERSON’s company, Premier Sports Management Group (“PSMG”) to secure a professional soccer team and to develop a new, 9,000 seat facility at the Dillon Stadium location in Hartford. Under the terms of the agreement, PSMG was entitled to receive $775,000 for serving as the project manager for the $12 million plan. In February 2015, ANDERSON joined with DUCKETT, who agreed to be the majority owner of the professional soccer team. ANDERSON and DUCKETT subsequently represented to various city officials that PSMG and DUCKETT’s Black Diamond Consulting Group had merged for purposes of completing the Dillon Stadium project and securing the professional soccer team.
The indictment alleges that, beginning in approximately March 2015, ANDERSON and DUCKETT submitted invoices to the city for reimbursement to PSMG subcontractors working on the project. However, rather than pay the total amounts owed to PSMG’s subcontractors, ANDERSON and DUCKETT directed hundreds of thousands of dollars that they received from the city to themselves, PSMG, Black Diamond and to other entities not related to the Dillon Stadium project. In addition, the indictment alleges that ANDERSON and DUCKETT caused inflated invoices to be submitted to the city.
The indictment charges both ANDERSON and DUCKETT with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. The indictment also charges ANDERSON with four counts of mail fraud, and both defendants with multiple counts of wire fraud and conducting illegal monetary transactions.
If convicted of the conspiracy, mail and wire fraud counts, the defendants face a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count. If convicted of conducting illegal monetary transactions, the defendants face a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years on each count.
This matter is being investigated by the Connecticut Public Corruption Task Force, notably the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division. The Task Force also includes members from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development- Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah Karwan and Douglas Morabito.
Citizens are encouraged to report corruption to the Connecticut Public Corruption Task Force by calling 203-238-0505.