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$8-12M In Ball Park Payments May Be A Focus Of FBI Probe

(CBS Connecticut) — Hartford officials say between $8-million and $12-million that the city paid to the former developer of Dunkin’ Donuts Park never made it to the subcontractors who were supposed to get the money.

What happened to the money may now be a focus of an ongoing FBI investigation, after the city went to federal law enforcement officials and shared its concerns about the situation.

Centerplan submitted quarterly bills to the city, and claimed that all of the subcontractors were paid. The city gave money to Centerplan with the understanding that the funds would go to the subcontractors.

But at today’s Hartford Stadium Authority meeting, city Corporation Counsel Howard Rifkin said some of the subcontractors complained that they were not getting the money.

“The FBI has an ongoing investigation into the stadium specifically around payments represented to have been made to subcontractors and vendors,” Rifkin said.

“The fact that Centerplan had not paid those subcontractors despite affirming that they had raised questions,” Mayor Luke Bronin said.

When Centerplan was still working on the project, the company claimed that changes sought by the city and the team ran up costs and led to delays.  A city lawyer says that argument is not material to this issue.

The city and Centerplan are fighting in court over whether the city properly removed Centerplan from the project.

Many of the subcontractors have been paid by an insurance company.  Arch Insurance is now overseeing the project.

The FBI has not answered questions about the investigation.  The bureau typically does not discuss pending investigations.

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