A former National Football League (NFL) player pleaded guilty last week to orchestrating a conspiracy to defraud the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) of over $300,000.
Brian Carpenter, 59, of Centreville, played for the Washington Redskins, New York Giants, and Buffalo Bills in the early 1980s. According to court documents, Carpenter was the owner and operator of a Leesburg company called the Flintstone Group which facilitated the sale and distribution of janitorial products, including products that were specifically labeled and created from his time in the NFL, including an enzyme solvent named “Blitz” and degreaser citrus solvent called “DG-28.”
Carpenter established a relationship with at least two employees of WMATA who were assigned WMATA-issued credit cards as part of their roles as assistant superintendents for WMATA’s maintenance and custodial services division. Carpenter devised a scheme whereby the WMATA employees permitted him to charge their credit cards for supplies that were never in fact delivered. In these instances, Carpenter would retain a substantial portion of the amount charged from the sales for his own personal benefit and the employees received cash payments in exchange for permitting Carpenter to charge their cards. To make it appear that Carpenter ran a wholly legitimate business and to circumvent WMATA’s internal credit card controls, he used at least 10 different companies to process transactions from the credit cards, most of whom were not in the janitorial supply business and had never met the WMATA employees whose cards they charged. Carpenter then provided the WMATA employees with fake and fraudulent invoices representing that WMATA paid for and received all of the products it ordered.
When WMATA-Office of Inspector General began investigating the case, Carpenter provided investigators with altered invoices to make it appear that he had ordered or substituted all of the products that were charged to WMATA. In total, WMATA spent at least $310,000 on products that were never delivered.
Carpenter pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on December 15. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; James A. Dawson, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office; and Geoffrey Cherrington, Inspector General for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamar K. Walker and Heidi B. Gesch are prosecuting the case.