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Soccer stadium developer found guilty of defrauding Hartford

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HARTFORD — A developer has been convicted of defrauding Hartford taxpayers of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a failed effort to build a professional soccer stadium.

The Hartford Courant reports  James Duckett Jr. was found guilty on 12 of the 13 charges, including multiple counts of wire fraud.

The federal jury in Bridgeport reached the verdict after deliberating less than two hours and following a six-day trial.

Prosecutors allege Duckett and another developer of Dillon Stadium never paid subcontractors and used city money to support a lavish lifestyle before Hartford cancelled their contract and sued.

But Duckett’s lawyer portrayed him as an ambitious businessman who earnestly tried to bring professional soccer to the Connecticut capital.

The Major Arena Soccer League dropped the team before a game was played.

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