Ex-FBI Agent Sentenced for Gambling Government Money

  • The prosecution and defense only asked for probation 
  • Carpenter took the money from a fund allocated for an undercover operation in Vegas
  • Carpenter's father, a US judge, suggested his son has PTSD from serving in Iraq
  • The 90-day sentence could be served under house arrest
Gavel with poker chips and playing cards
An ex-FBI agent was sentenced to three months in custody for gambling with government money. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Accountability in court

Ex-FBI agent Scott Carpenter was sentenced to three months in custody after gambling government cash at a Las Vegas casino.

the prosecution and defense noted his behavior and asked the judge for probation

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Schiess, Carpenter reported the incident himself and took immediate steps to pay it back. Both the prosecution and defense noted his behavior and asked the judge for probation, though he will face harsher punishment.

The ex-agent apologized for letting his coworkers and loved ones down, also sharing that he underwent treatment that made him a “better, smarter and more self-aware person.”

The FBI operation

According to court records, Carpenter and three other FBI agents went to Las Vegas for an undercover operation in July 2017. The group brought $135,000 cash to help cover expenses and pay bribes in their investigation into public corruption.

The probe was supposed to position one team member as a high roller in a cabana at The Cosmopolitan. The room mandated a $1,500 minimum in food and drink purchases.

Carpenter drank a six-pack of beer and almost an entire bottle of vodka on his own

After a meeting, the agents chowed down on leftover food and alcoholic drinks. Court records indicate that Carpenter drank a six-pack of beer and almost an entire bottle of vodka on his own.

Following the group’s feast, Carpenter snuck out to play blackjack at the Bellagio using the wad of cash. According to their records, he played an average of over $700 per hand and lost $13,500.

Sentencing details

Both sides of the legal battle supported Carpenter as much as they could, shining light on his pristine reputation as a public servant and overall clean record. His father, a New Jersey-based municipal judge, sent a letter to the court suggesting that his son was dealing with post-traumatic stress after completing tours in Iraq with the military. 

[undermining] the community’s trust in law enforcement”

U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro delivered Carpenter’s sentence. She cited “[undermining] the community’s trust in law enforcement” as her reason for ignoring the probation requests.

Navarro did, however, confirm that the charge had been dropped from a felony to a misdemeanor. Carpenter was also able to work for the FBI until his plea was entered this February.

Carpenter has 90 days to turn himself in to the authorities— he may still be granted house arrest.