Craig Carton, the former WFAN radio host charged with operating a ticketing Ponzi scheme, says that his business was a real one and that documents from the operators of the Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum will prove it. Carton, who resigned from his duties as co-host of the “Boomer and Carton” show following charges he defrauded investors, has attempted to recover documents proving he had legitimate business relationships with those venues and more in the lead-up to his trial in October, according to Billboard.
“As part of his ticket resale business, Mr. Carton developed substantial relationships with senior staff members at Barclays Center,” his attorney wrote in a memo to the court. “Beginning in 2015, employees of Barclays Center began presenting Mr. Carton with opportunities to buy tickets to live events at Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum for Mr. Carton to then resell on the secondary ticket market.”
This runs counter to the description of the securities fraud and wire fraud charges that have been brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. They allege that Carton went to investors claiming such agreements were in place, but that those agreements were fraudulent. When investors went in on his scheme, money was instead diverted to pay prior investors and personal debts.
Per Carton’s attorney, his business fell apart in the wake of the collapse of a different Ponzi scheme, one where Joe Meli admitted to stealing nearly $95 million from investors. Carton had entered a deal with Meli to procure tickets directly from promoter AEG, which turned out to be fraudulent on the part of Meli’s purported agreement with the promoter. When Meli’s scheme collapsed, Carton could not make up for the lost investment, which caused his business to fall apart as a consequence.
In essence, Carton argues that he had a real ticketing business taken down by a Ponzi scheme, which led to his being charged with essentially the same crimes. Officials with BSE Global, which operates both Barclays Center and the Nassau Colleseum, did not comment for Billboard’s story.
In a recent interview on New York’s WABC radio for the “Bernie and Sid in the morning” show, Carton expressed belief that he would prevail, and would return to his prior job as a radio host once vindicated.
“It’s very scary, it’s the fight of my life but I’ll tell you what I said the day I got arrested, which was September 6th almost a year ago to the day,” he told host Sid Rosenberg. “And that is, I’m not guilty. I look forward to my opportunity to lay it out for everybody.”
The judge in the case, Colleen McMahon, ruled that the documents from BSE Global can be produced at the outset of trial, meaning that Carton’s team may not know what type of ammunition it will have to support its version of the story until things get underway.