February 23, 2018

Prison for 2nd Dillon Stadium fraudster

Mitch Anderson (left) pleaded guilty to money-laundering charges related to a scheme to redevelop Hartford's Dillon Stadium. His business partner TJ Duckett (far right) was found guilty of similar charges. Duckett was sentenced to three years in prison. Anderson received a sentence of six months in prison.

A former Avon man involved in a fraudulent attempt to renovate Hartford's Dillon Stadium using city money will spend six months in federal prison, prosecutors say.

Mitchell Anderson, 53, of Bradenton, Fla., also was sentenced Friday in Bridgeport federal court to three years of supervised release, the Connecticut U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Anderson also has agreed repay the city and two Dillon subcontractors more than $1.1 million, authorities said.
Anderson pleaded guilty in Feb. 2017 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and one count of conducting illegal monetary transactions. He must report April 8 to prison.

Anderson is the second man sentenced in connection with the scheme. Last July, James C. Duckett Jr. was sentenced to three years in prison on conspiracy, fraud and money laundering offenses stemming from the scheme, prosecutors said.

According to investigators and court testimony, Anderson, Duckett and the city in July 2014 signed a contract for Anderson's Premier Sports Management Group (PSMG) to bring a professional soccer team to the city and to redevelop Dillon into a 9,000-seat facility.

According to the agreement, PSMG was entitled to $775,000 as the project manager for the $12 million project.

In Feb. 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.

Beginning around 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 and their business affiliates, investigators said.

The investigation discovered that Duckett used funds that the city provided to PSMG to buy a $120,000 Range Rover, 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.
Anderson and Duckett were arrested on June 23, 2016.

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