Local News

December 11, 2017
 

HARTFORD SOCCER STADIUM DEVELOPER SENTENCED TO 3 YEARS IN PRISON

More articles by »
Written by: Reggie Hales
Tags:

HARTFORD SOCCER STADIUM DEVELOPER SENTENCED TO 3 YEARS IN PRISON

James Duckett, Jr

Hartford – John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JAMES C. DUCKETT JR., 45, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to 36 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in a fraud scheme involving the redevelopment of Hartford’s Dillon Stadium and a plan to bring a professional soccer team to the city. On July 6, a jury found DUCKETT guilty of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering offenses stemming from the scheme.

According to the evidence at trial, in September 2014, the City of Hartford entered into a professional services agreement with Mitchell Anderson and his 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. 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. DUCKETT and Anderson 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. DUCKETT represented that he was a former professional football player in the NFL and that Black Diamond was involved in a casino project and sports-related projects in Las Vegas and Atlanta.

Beginning in approximately March 2015, Anderson 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, DUCKETT and Anderson directed more than $1 million that PSMG received from the city to themselves, PSMG, Black Diamond, and other entities not related to the Dillon Stadium project. DUCKETT and Anderson also secured invoices from subcontractors who had not performed work for the project, which DUCKETT and Anderson caused to be submitted to the city as if the work had been performed. DUCKETT and Anderson then illegally used the proceeds of the fraud in a series of bank transactions to pay individuals and companies for expenses unrelated to the Dillon Stadium.

The investigation revealed that DUCKETT used funds that the city provided to PSMG to purchase a Range Rover that cost approximately $120,000, to pay unrelated attorneys’ fees and a $20,000 “finder’s fee” to an individual, and for other personal expenses including luxury clothing and jewelry items.
DUCKETT was arrested on June 23, 2016.

The jury found DUCKETT guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and eight counts of conducting illegal monetary transactions. The jury found DUCKETT not guilty of one count of conducting illegal monetary transactions.

The government advocated for a sentence of 60 months of imprisonment, and Judge Underhill imposed the 36-month sentence over the government’s objection.

Judge Underhill will issue a restitution order after further submissions by the parties.
DUCKETT, who is released on bond, was ordered to report to prison on January 31, 2018.
On February 6, 2017, Anderson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, and one count of conducting illegal monetary transactions. He awaits sentencing. Anderson has agreed to make restitution in the total amount of $1,134,595.37 to the City of Hartford and two subcontractors of the Dillon Stadium project.

This matter was 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 Hartford Police Department assisted the investigation.
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.



About the Author

Reggie Hales




Advertisement
 
 

 

GHANAIAN WOMEN UP AGAINST U.S.

-OWNED GOLD MINE THAT DESTROYED THEIR FARMS (GIN/Inquiring News-CT/MA) – On the website of the Colorado-based Newmont mine, the top page reads in bold letters: “Culture of Zero Harm.” This might come as a surprise to the ...
by Reggie Hales
 

 
 

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Receives $10K

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo Receives $10,000 grant from the PSEG Foundation BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo has received a $10,000 grant from the PSEG Foundation and the Corporate, Culture, and Citizen...
by Reggie Hales
 

 
 

Harder for Minorities to Own Media Companies

OPINION: The Justice Department Could Make it Harder for Minorities to Own Media Companies NATION – (By. Armstrong Williams (NNPA / Inquiring News-CT/MA) – As the United States becomes increasingly diverse, the nece...
by Reggie Hales
 

 

 

A Conversation That Is Long Overdue…

A Conversation That Is Long Overdue… By State Senator Douglas McCrory As a new year begins, many of us are looking back on 2017 as a difficult year for a variety of reasons. Nationally, we are coming to terms with the realiti...
by Reggie Hales
 

 
Advertisement
 

State Treasurer Dennis Nappier to Retire

A FAREWELL TO A TREASURED LADY A FAREWELL TO A TREASURED LADY , Will End Record-Setting Tenure Next Year HARTFORD – Inquiring News-CT/MA-1-10-18) – Denise L. Nappier, having served as State Treasurer for nearly two ...
by Reggie Hales
 

 




Advertisement