WFAN radio host Craig Carton has been arrested by the FBI on conspiracy and fraud charges. The New York City radio host who hosted on alongside Boomer Esiason on the Boomer and Carton Show, which is simulcast on CBS Sports Network, allegedly duped investors out of $5.6 million, which he used to pay down massive gambling debts at two casinos.
Court papers say Carton ran up millions in losses at a pair of casinos and a debt of $825,000 to another individual, per the New York Daily News. He and a partner, Michael Wright, were charged with securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy, crimes which carry huge fines and a maximum of 45 years in prison.
“Behind all the talk,” said U.S. Attorney Joon Kim. “The Carton and Wright show was just a sham, designed to fleece investors out of millions ultimately to be spend on payments to casinos and … other personal debt.”
The New York Daily News reported about the arrest on Wednesday, noting the SEC filings that described the scheme Carton came up with involving fake concert tickets he sold to people but never delivered on.
Carton provided to one investor fictitious agreements for entities controlled by Meli or Carton to purchase at face value, directly from a concert promoter or venue, millions of dollars’ worth of tickets to upcoming concerts by the artists Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Roger Waters, Metallica, and Barbra Streisand. In reality, no such agreements with the concert promoter or venue existed, and the signatures for the concert promoter or venue were forged. Carton provided to another investor documents referencing a purported agreement by an entity controlled by Meli to purchase millions of dollars’ worth of Adele concert tickets at face value, directly from Adele’s management company. Again, there was no such agreement with Adele’s management company.
Amazingly, this isn’t the first time a fraud scheme involving Adele has trickled into the sports world. Paul George’s management was duped by a con artist who said they, too, worke with Adele over the summer. But back to Carton, who obviously did not show up to work on Wednesday. His cohost addressed Carton’s absence but did not go into details about what happened.
“I am aware now why Craig is not here this morning,” Esiason said on the show Wednesday morning. “Unfortunately, he was arrested this morning … I’m taken aback and surprised by it, just like everybody else is.”
Esiason thought Carton had called in sick, but soon learned that his longtime partner had actually been arrested and would be appearing in federal court in Manhattan rather than on the New York (and national) radio waves.