FBI Agent Faces Possible Jail Sentence After Gambling with Federal Money

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A visit to Las Vegas for work proved a little too tempting for one FBI agent out of New York. Employed in a field meant to thwart crime, Scott F. Carpenter became one himself, using federal money at a casino in Sin City. Now, he could spend time behind bars thinking about his actions.

FBI Agent Runs Afoul of the Law

Yesterday, the Department of Justice in Nevada announced that Carpenter, a special agent with the FBI, had pleaded guilty to one count of “conversion of government money.” That’s government parlance for stealing when no one wants to put the accused in an extremely bad light.

A press release by the department states that Carpenter was an FBI special agent working for the New York City Field Office in 2017. Accompanied by three other federal agents, he was then sent to Vegas to carry out an undercover operation between July 27 and July 31, 2017.

The press release stated that Carpenter, following the completion of the undercover operation, stuck around Sin City. He ultimately spent $13,500 of government money playing blackjack at a local, but unnamed, casino. It wasn’t clear if he was a winner or a loser at the tables, but his status now is known.

Carpenter, who served in the Army before entering the FBI, will be sentenced before U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro on May 18. He faces a “maximum statutory penalty of one year in prison and supervised release with restitution.” However, because he pleaded guilty, and based on his government service, the judge could give him probation.

Falling Into Temptation

This isn’t the first time someone meant to uphold the law ended up breaking it. Jose Ismael Irizarry, a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent, pleaded guilty in 2020 to a scheme to divert $9 million from drug proceeds through undercover money laundering investigations. The money was transferred to banks that he and his co-conspirators controlled, according to a press release by the U.S. Department of Justice at the time.

Last year, a Chicago Police Department ex-police officer was sentenced to 15 months behind bars for his involvement with an illegal sports gambling ring. According to the Associated Press, Nicholas Stella was lambasted in court for acting above the law, with the judge accusing him of undermining public trust and security.

In the latest incident, Carpenter has said he is remorseful for his actions. However, his one momentary lapse of reason will cost him his entire career.

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