Sports radio personality Craig Carton, co-host of WFAN’s “Boomer and Carton in the Morning” with former National Football League quarterback Boomer Esiason, was arrested Wednesday over allegations he misled investors in a ticket selling business in order to resolve gambling debts.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Carton and a co-defendant with securities fraud in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for allegedly misappropriating more than $5.5 million from a pair of investors in the bogus ticket reselling business. According to the SEC in SEC v. Carton, 17-cv-06764, by mid-2016, Carton had millions of dollars in gambling debt owed to casinos and other parties. At the same time, he and his co-defendant Joseph Meli, who himself already faces SEC and U.S. Department of Justice charges over similar ticket selling schemes, began soliciting investments for their own ticket selling scheme.
The SEC alleges that Carton and Meli told investors they had access to millions of dollars’ worth of concert tickets at face value, when, in fact, they did not. Investors were told tickets to popular acts, such as Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Roger Waters, Metallica and Barbra Streisand were being passed along from venues and promoters. The pair went so far as to forge documents to back up their claims, including a faked agreement between the artist Adele’s management and the defendants for millions worth of tickets at face value, the government contends.
Millions of dollars intended for the purchase of tickets instead went to repay Carton’s gambling debts, as well as earlier investors in the scheme, according to the SEC.
“As alleged in our complaint, investors were lured with promises of big profits from resales of A-list concert tickets, but little did they know their money was being used to cover Carton’s gambling debts among other things,” said Paul Levenson, director of the SEC’s Boston regional office, which handled the investigation.
Jaime Saberito, a spokeswoman for CBS Radio Inc., WFAN’s parent company, said in a statement that the company was aware of “the situation” and “are cooperating with authorities.”
Counsel for Carton has not been announced.