NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) Craig Carton, former co-host of a sports radio show with ex-NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, was convicted of fraud in a ticket-selling scheme Wednesday.
Carton, who used to be a talk-show star of WFAN, was charged with making false representations to raise more than $4 million from investors to buy blocks of tickets and resell them at a profit, but in turn using the money to pay off debts to previous investors, not to mention covering Carton’s own personal debts.
“I need to let it sink in now,” Carton said, according to the Journal News. “I’m going to go home and hug my kids and let my lawyers deal with the rest of it.”
His attorneys said they planned to appeal the Manhattan federal court jury verdict. Sentencing was set for Feb. 27 on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and securities fraud.
Two top executives of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which owns Barclays Center and the Nassau Coliseum, recently testified that they did not have any agreement with Carton to provide him with blocks of tickets despite emails that may imply otherwise. Carton apparently forwarded emails to his investors that suggested he had an agreement with BS&E that guaranteed him blocks of tickets but Barclays chief of staff Fred Mangione disputed that , saying on cross-examination that the radio personality had preferred access to buy tickets for years but “I told him it would be event by event on multiple occasions,” according to Newsday.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said after the verdict that Carton enticed investors by claiming he could get tickets to shows like Metallica and Barbara Streisand and could grow their investments through resale.
“As a unanimous Manhattan jury has found, Carton was all talk,” Berman said in a statement. He said that Carton spent almost $7 million of investors’ money on himself.
Carton’s attorneys said their client was victimized by his former business partner, Joe Meli, who was sentenced to nearly 7 years in prison after pleading guilty in a $100 million ticket reselling business fraud.
Carton faces 45 years in prison although any sentencing will reportedly be less than that.