Hartford Professional Soccer Stadium Developer Pleads Guilty to Fraud

One of two the developers accused of pocketing hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars meant to redevelop a soccer stadium in Hartford and lure a new professional soccer franchise to the city has pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering charges. 

The city of Hartford and Mitchell Anderson’s company, Premier Sports Management Group, reached a deal in September 2014 to secure a professional soccer team and develop a new 9,000-seat facility at Dillon Stadium. 

The agreement with the city included $775,000 to PSMG for serving as the project manager of the $12 million plan, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

Federal officials said Anderson, 52, of Avon, and his business partner never paid subcontractors and used city money for personal and other purposes. 

They were accused of pocketing $1 million mean for the project rather than paying subcontractors and also obtaining invoices from subcontractors who did not perform the work and submitting them to the city as if the work had been done. 

Anderson is then accused of using the proceeds to pay people and companies for expenses that were not connected to the stadium deal, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

Federal officials began looking into the project in 2015.

Anderson was arrested on June 23 and was released on a $100,000 bond. 

He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and one count of conducting illegal monetary transactions. 

He has agreed to pay more than $1.1 million back to the City of Hartford and two subcontractors of the Dillon Stadium project. 

Hartford ultimately cancelled their contract and filed civil suit. The proposed indoor team affiliated with PSMG, Hartford City FC, was dropped by the Major Arena Soccer League before a game was played.

The other developer, James Duckett, is set to go to trial in May. 

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