Convicted embezzler’s Hartford soccer project dead, developer still managed to overbill city for it

Great news, everybody: The guy with a felony embezzlement record who wanted the rights to build a Hartford soccer stadium is out of the picture, because, okay, what part of the start of this sentence didn’t you understand? Less great news: His partner in the project, Premier Sports Management Group, may have taken more than its allotted share of city money for the project by … well, it’s up to a court of law to determine what counts as “embezzlement,” right?

“We want the money back,” said Development Director Thomas Deller, adding that the company has “committed to pay the money back.”

“We are still evaluating every bill, every item, every subcontract that” the sports management group has. “We caught this mistake. We’ve been trying to figure out what the mistake is.”

Deller wouldn’t put a dollar figure on it, except to say that the city was overbilled by “a large number.”

Apparently the city has already paid Premier $1.8 million to put together an MLS stadium plan, which seems like a lot, given that those just drop from the sky these days. But still,, it could just be a simple misunderstanding, right? No reason to suspect any kind of criminal activity

The Hartford police major crimes squad is investigating the company’s billing, and separate inquiries have been launched by the city’s internal auditors and the city council. Deputy police Chief Brian Foley said Friday that the department has also notified the state’s attorney’s office and the U.S. attorney’s office in Connecticut.

I know this is about a stadium for an MLS team that will never exist, but it is officially the best story ever, so I vow to keep you posted with further updates.

4 comments on “Convicted embezzler’s Hartford soccer project dead, developer still managed to overbill city for it

  1. They were actually intending to be an NASL team, not an MLS team. (Most new groups say MLS is in their future, but Hartford City FC was intended to be an NASL team and is supposed to have a Major Arena Soccer League team starting in a couple of weeks.)

  2. NASL for now, sure, but nobody puts this kind of effort into a stadium without designs on MLS.

  3. Hire a convicted felon (&partner) to build you a stadium and they run away with some of the cash. Is there no honor amongst theives anymore?