A former Clearwater city employee was charged with defrauding the government of tens of thousands of dollars over several years in his position as a Parks and Recreation employee.
Per investigators, a department employee noticed an odd discrepancy in a report that indicated a revenue-generating activity showed that no revenue was in fact generated. The employee brought the issue to the attention of the department director, who, in turn, queried Robert Carpenter, then a recreation supervisor, about the issue.
Authorities say the director scheduled a meeting with Carpenter, but Carpenter resigned before the meeting – an act that raised even more questions with the director. Clearwater Police were subsequently called in to investigate, and the city brought in a forensic accountant to pore over the department’s books.
Police say the forensic accountant turned up evidence that Carpenter pocketed $26,000 per year since 2014 from one vendor and $54,000 per year since 2013 from another instead of tendering the funds to the city’s coffers. In addition, investigators say they found evidence of $1,200 in cash that was missing from a cash box used in selling tickets to a recreational event, and another $2,210 missing from a men’s basketball league that Carpenter allegedly stored in a safe for medical emergencies.
All told, investigators say Carpenter’s total illegitimate take came to $148,000.
Carpenter, 58, who worked for the city for all but five years since 1983, had previously won plaudits for his long dedication to the city and recreational events. The New York native was arrested last Friday and booked into the Pinellas County Jail on charges of scheming to defraud. He is currently in custody pending a bond of $250,000.
The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.