U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Tennessee
(901) 544-4231
October 22, 2014

Employee of Memphis City Court Clerk’s Office Indicted for Theft of Monetary Payments for Traffic Citations

MEMPHIS, TN—Tammy Brooks Carpenter, age 41, of Memphis, TN, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury on the charge of embezzling monetary payments from customers who had been issued motor vehicle citations by the City of Memphis, announced Edward L. Stanton III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.

“As the indictment alleges, Tammy Brooks Carpenter orchestrated a scheme to enrich herself by embezzling and converting thousands of dollars of traffic ticket payments intended for City of Memphis coffers,” stated United States Attorney Stanton. “She then allegedly took her brazen scheme one step further by targeting and preying upon vulnerable members of the Hispanic community. As today’s arrest makes clear, we will not tolerate corrupt public officials, and will do everything in our power to hold them accountable.”

The one-count indictment alleges that beginning in December 2012 and continuing until December 2013, Carpenter, an employee of the Memphis City Court Clerk’s office whose duties included accepting payments from customers who had been issued motor vehicle citations, would accept payment and enter the transactions into the Electronic Ticket Information System (ETIMS) which created a record of the payment. Carpenter would then void the original payment and enter a smaller amount into the ETIMS system, converting the remaining funds for her personal use.

During the course of one year, Carpenter allegedly voided approximately 188 citations and embezzled approximately $24,000. Of the 188 citations voided by Carpenter, approximately 183 of the victims had a Hispanic surname.

The federal statute, Title 18 United States Code, Section 666(a)(1)(A), Carpenter has been charged with violating makes it a crime to embezzle money from a local government entity that receives federal assistance in excess of $10,000 during a 12 month period. If convicted she 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, Memphis Police Department and the Tarnished Badge Task Force. This case is being prosecuted for the government by Assistant United States Attorney Brian K. Coleman.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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