Craig Carton, the host of WFAN's popular "Boomer & Carton" morning show, has been arrested by the FBI for his apparent involvement in a fake ticket scam.
Along with partner Michael Wright, the 48-year-old New Jersey 101.5 FM alum is accused of stealing several million dollars from investors. The former "Jersey Guy" has been charged with securities fraud and wire fraud. He and Wright are scheduled to appear later today in Manhattan federal court.
Carton and his co-conspirator allegedly told investors that they had access to discounted blocks of tickets to sporting and music events, which they could turn around and sell for a profit. That access never actually existed and written agreements provided to investors were fraudulent, the FBI says. The millions raised were "misappropriated" and used in part to "pay personal debts and repay prior investors as part of a Ponzi-like scheme," per the agency.
"As alleged, Craig Carton and Michael Wright deceived investors and raised millions of dollars through misrepresentation and outright lies," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said. "Their schemes were allegedly propped up by phony contracts with two companies to purchase blocks of concert tickets, when in fact, Carton and Wright had no deals to purchase any tickets at all. As alleged, behind all the talk, the Wright and Carson show was just a sham, designed to fleece investors out of millions ultimately to be spent on payments to casinos and to pay off other personal debt."
"Carton and Wright thought they could get off easy by allegedly paying off their debts with other people's money," FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. added. "They then attempted to pay off investors with money that would eventually become future debt, as alleged. We see this time and time again, the rise and fall of a Ponzi scheme destined for failure. The truth is, the time will come when your luck runs out. Unfortunately for those arrested today, that time is now."
The conspiracy count carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, per the feds. The securities fraud count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5 million, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The wire fraud count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
The married father of four, Carton (pictured above, right) has co-hosted New York City's 660 AM sportstalk show with former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason (above, left) since September 2007. Carton started his career in Buffalo in the early 1990s.
Carton is the founder of a charity for children with Tourette Syndrome called TicTocStop. Carton and two of his children have the condition.
WFAN-owner CBS Radio did not immediately respond to TheWrap's request for comment on Carton's arrest, nor did WFAN itself.