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Fraud trial delayed for would-be Dixon movie studio mogul

Carissa Carpenter spearheaded a plan to bring a $2.8 billion movie studio to the farm town of Dixon. It never happened, and now she’s accused of defrauding investors.
Carissa Carpenter spearheaded a plan to bring a $2.8 billion movie studio to the farm town of Dixon. It never happened, and now she’s accused of defrauding investors. Sacramento Bee file

Carissa Carpenter’s fraud case has been pushed back another three months while lawyers for the would-be Dixon movie studio impresario continue evaluating evidence.

Carpenter, who was indicted by a federal grand jury Oct. 30 on charges that she defrauded investors of $5 million in her 17-year effort to build a massive movie studio project in Northern California, had been scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Sacramento on Thursday.

But in a stipulation agreed to by her federal public defenders and prosecutors, the case has been continued until July 30 to allow her attorneys “to review discovery and pursue investigation,” states the stipulation filed in court Monday.

U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley signed the order Tuesday.

Carpenter’s case has been postponed twice since her initial appearance in court following her indictment, during which she pleaded not guilty. Her public defenders said in a court filing in February that they had received 68,000 pages of evidence from the government in the case.

Carpenter remains free on $25,000 bail while she fights the charges, which could send her to prison for 20 years.

Carpenter, 51, is accused of using investor money to pay for her personal expenses and lavish lifestyle while pursuing her dream of a movie studio. Her last proposal was for a $2.8 billion project to be built in the Solano County farm town of Dixon.

A Sacramento Bee investigation of her background revealed that she had raised millions while leaving behind years of unpaid bills and court judgments and that her efforts had never led to anything being built.

Call The Bee’s Sam Stanton, (916) 321-1091.

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