During an investigation in Las Vegas in 2017, an FBI agent from the agency’s New York office made what his lawyer described as a “terrible error” by wasting $13,500 of government funds to gamble at a casino while on duty.
Scott Carpenter, 40, pled guilty to a misdemeanor count of conversion of government funds in federal court in Las Vegas on Tuesday as part of a plea agreement that calls for a probationary term for the FBI agent.
According to prosecutors, Carpenter and three other Federal Bureau of Investigation agents allegedly flew to Las Vegas to conduct an undercover investigation from July 27 to July 31, 2017.
Immediately after completing the operation, Carpenter proceeded to a high stakes area at the casino, where he gambled with $13,500 of government funds to win $1,500 in blackjack.
“Scott made a bad mistake four years ago,” Fishman said. “He promptly accepted responsibility for his actions, informed his supervisors, got professional therapy for his alcoholism, and made plans to reimburse the FBI.” Judge Gloria Navarro of the United States District Court set his sentence on May 18.
In Tuesday’s court hearing, Arnold and Porter Kaye Scholer’s Paul Fishman and Mindy Gorin represented the FBI Agent. They took note of Carpenter’s issues at the time of the crime and his efforts to make amends.
Carpenter entered a guilty plea as part of a plea agreement. It proposes that the court sentences the FBI agent to probation rather than prison time. Prosecutors have urged this, according to Fishman, because of Carpenter’s “otherwise exceptional service” with the FBI and US Army.
Carpenter is far from the first individual to misappropriate funds to fuel a gambling addiction.
In a similar case in California, the court sentenced a Catholic nun to 366 days in jail for misappropriating more than $835,000 of school funds to support her gambling habit. She used the tuition money from St. James Catholic School in Torrance.
Furthermore, a 37-year-old man from the United Kingdom was sentenced to three years in jail by the court for looting more than £200,000 ($272,000) from a medical charity for gambling activities. Over 20 months, the London resident diverted funds from his non-profit company, the British Society of Echocardiography, and gambled with the money online.
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