While the last seven years have often seemed like a nightmare for former Redskins player Brian Carpenter, he says he’s grateful that he can finally move on with his life.
On Dec. 15, a judge in a U.S. District Court, Alexandria Division, imposed a sentence of home confinement in light of COVID-19 and related considerations (medical conditions).
The ruling effectively closed the book on the highly-publicized case that involved conspiracy charges to commit wire fraud to which Carpenter pleaded guilty. The charges carried with them a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Carpenter, 60, who lives with his family in Centreville, Va. and played for Washington, the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills between 1982 and 1984, pleaded guilty to defrauding Metro of more than $300,000 in his stead as the owner of the Flintstone Group – a janitorial contractor which bought, sold and distributed products to clients including the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
Carpenter says he regrets his participation in the events leading to his arrest and conviction but still maintains that while detractors suggested he intentionally sought to defraud WMATA, he believed that he was operating within legal parameters.
“I was fortunate to be able to secure legal counsel that was experienced in cases like mine and not forced to accept the services of a public defender,” he said. “The system really works against you if you’re unable to hire your own attorney – one who can speak on your behalf and tell your story.”
“Because I was advised to let my attorney speak for me, I never really got a chance to tell my side. But even in my silence, I felt like the press really went after me. The narrative they presented wasn’t accurate and it hurt – it hurt me and it hurt my family. However, I realize how fortunate I am that I was able to walk out the front door and not the back – a lot of brothers don’t get that opportunity.”
Carpenter said that with the holiday season here, he plans to take some time to reflect and complete his six-month sentence before deciding what’s in his professional future.
“I’ve read what’s been said about me especially over the past year – about me and my business,” he said. “Much of it doesn’t reflect who I am or what I’m about. But finally, after seven long years, I, along with my sons, can look forward. It’s been a long ordeal and it’s been stressful.”
“One day, I’d like to talk to youth about my experience so that they can avoid making similar mistakes. One thing I learned is that anyone be indicted. And once you’re in the system, it’s not easy to get out unscathed,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter’s attorney, Robert Jenkins Jr., sent the following statement to The Washington Informer.
“This case is largely about the government using its awesome powers to selectively prosecute. Any wrong committed was not solely the by-product of the conduct of Mr. Carpenter. However, he was disproportionately held accountable.”