“Movie Studio” Promoter Pleads Guilty in Federal Court

Carissa Carpenter appeared last Thursday in federal court in Sacramento, where the self-described movie studio executive pleaded guilty in an elaborate scheme that prosecutors say swindled investors out of millions of dollars.
She had promoted a purported billion dollar studio complex in Dixon, which local officials enthusiastically praised, include a formal resolution by the City Council promising support and cooperation. She was also instrumental in defeating “Measure N” – an initiative establishing strong open government provisions on the City of Dixon.
Carpenter, 55, pled guilty to two counts of mail fraud and one count of lying to the FBI in a plea agreement. This  could net her up to 45 years in prison for taking investors’ money for failed movie studio projects.
Carpenter appeared before U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. the previous week but appeared to faint after taking nitroglycerine tablets before she could complete the proceedings.
Judge Burrell requested Thursday that she hand her small bottle of medication over to a U.S. Marshal, which she did, allowing  the hearing to proceed without incident as the judge asked her questions about whether she fully understood the ramifications of pleading guilty.
She faces sentencing on Sept. 28, and Burrell warned her that regardless of the plea agreement, which does not specify a recommended sentence, he could sentence her to 20 years on each of the mail fraud charges and five years on the third count for a total of 45 years. He also told her that she could face a fine of up to $750,000 — or double the amount lost in the fraud — and be required to pay restitution.

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