Ex-FBI Agent Who Gambled With Public Money Receives Three Month Sentence

Posted on: August 18, 2022, 09:45h. 

Last updated on: August 18, 2022, 03:19h.

A former FBI agent who allegedly used $13.5K in federal government money to gamble at Las Vegas’ Bellagio casino was sentenced to three months in custody on Wednesday. The prosecutor and defense attorneys asked for probation with no prison time.

The Bellagio in Las Vegas
The Bellagio in Las Vegas, pictured above. It was the site of an FBI agent allegedly using public funds to gamble in a high-limit room. (Image: TripAdvisor)

US District Court Judge Gloria Navarro rejected their recommendations and sentenced Scott Carpenter, 40, of New York, to three months of incarceration. Carpenter’s attorney requested the time be spent at Carpenter’s residence rather than in a prison, according to the Las Vegas-Review Journal.

At this week’s sentencing hearing in Las Vegas federal court, Navarro scolded Carpenter, saying his action “undermines the community’s trust in law enforcement.” Navarro gave Carpender 90 days to surrender to prison officials. During that time, she will decide if he can serve his time in home confinement or at a correctional facility.

In February, Carpenter plead guilty to the conversion of government money charge. It is a misdemeanor rather than a more serious felony. Carpenter faced a maximum penalty of one year in prison, a period of supervised release, and required restitution of the money.

Funds Spend on High Limit Room, Bribes

In 2017, Carpenter allegedly used $13,500 of government funds to play blackjack at the Bellagio’s high limit room. He typically wagered more than $700 for each hand, the Review-Journal said. The money was lost at the gaming table.

Officials have revealed the spent money was part of the $135,000 budget given to FBI agents to investigate alleged public corruption. Some of the allotment was to pay for four agents’ expenses in Las Vegas between July 27 and 31, 2017.

Other funds were to pay for fake bribes to the targets of the government inquiry. The bribes would then be used as evidence to prosecute the suspect or suspects. Prosecutors have not announced who was the target of the corruption investigation.

One of the agents portrayed a high roller during the undercover operation. Agents also booked a cabana at The Cosmopolitan.

The casino requires cabana guests to order at least $1,500 meals and drinks. Carpenter allegedly consumed a six-pack of beer and most of a bottle of vodka while there, the report said.

After the illicit use of the cash, Carpenter confessed to officials about his illegal spending. He then began an effort at restitution, the Review-Journal said. Carpenter also acknowledged making an error but has since undergone treatment. He has left the FBI. Now, he is a “better, smarter, and more self-aware person,” the report added.

Lawyers Claim PTSD

Defense lawyers said Carpenter suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He had served with the US Army’s famed 82nd Airborne Division during two tours of duty in the Iraq War.

Frank Carpenter, the defendant’s father and a New Jersey judge, wrote to the Las Vegas judge that his son was drinking because of PTSD and should be lenient.

The same country that exposed my son to PTSD is now punishing him for exhibiting symptoms of PTSD,” Frank Carpenter’s letter said, the Review-Journal reported.

The Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General investigated the incident.