An employee of the Memphis City Court Clerk’s office was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on a charge of embezzling money from customers paying traffic tickets.
Her duties at the clerk’s office included accepting payments from customers paying motor vehicle citations. According to the indictment, Carpenter would accept the payments and enter the information into the Electronic Ticket Information System, which created a record of the payment. She would then void the payment, enter a smaller amount into the system, and keep the remaining funds for her personal use.
Carpenter mainly targeted Hispanic customers, according to the indictment. Of the 188 tickets she voided, 183 of them had a Hispanic surname.
“As today’s arrest makes clear, we will not tolerate corrupt public officials, and will do everything in our power to hold them accountable,” said Edward L. Stanton III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.
If convicted, Carpenter faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Memphis Police Department, and the Tarnished Badge Task Force.