Crime - Sacto 911

Crime Q&A: What happened to aspiring movie studio developer accused of defrauding investors?

Q: Several years ago, The Bee published a series of articles about the supposed efforts of Carissa Carpenter to build a movie studio complex in Dixon and elsewhere. Later, she was arrested and charged with federal crimes. Will this case be going to trial?

Bill, Davis

A: Carissa Carpenter faces 32 felony counts alleging that she bilked investors out of more than $5 million during her 17-year effort to build a massive movie studio project.

She had been scheduled to go to trial June 6, but in February, U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. pushed the date back more than a year, to August 2018, according to a story in The Sacramento Bee. This is the sixth postponement in the case since she was indicted in October 2014.

Carpenter is on her third attorney since she was charged. The reasons for the postponement include scheduling conflicts and the complexity of evidence in the case.

Carpenter was indicted following an investigation by Bee staff writers Sam Stanton and Marjie Lundstrom that chronicled her efforts to build a movie studio somewhere in Northern California.

In July 2012, she announced that she was bringing the project and 1,000 jobs to Dixon. But the plan stalled following The Bee investigation, which revealed that she had incurred $1.4 million in court-ordered judgments and a lawsuit settlement stemming from bounced rent checks, unpaid medical and cosmetic-dental bills, and breached contracts.

Carpenter remains free on $25,000 bail, living in Southern California. She is required to remain within the state unless granted permission to travel.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy