During the ticket fraud trial for former sports-talk-radio celebrity Craig Carton, two top Barclays Center executives and a Rockland County loan shark testified and shared incriminating information.
Carton, who hosted a radio show with former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, was charged with fraud in New York last year. He allegedly led a ticketing Ponzi scheme which defrauded investors out of millions of dollars. The Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Carton operated a scam where investors believed they were buying into a ticket resale operation, however, the money was used to pay off Carton’s gambling debt and previous investors.
The former host said that his business was real and there are documents from the operators of Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum as proof.
“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.”
However, during the trial Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment CEO Brett Yomark, who runs Barclays and the Coliseum, told jurors he never agreed to a contract for bulk ticket sales that Carton used to persuade others to invest in the business. While his signature can be found along Carton’s on a deal, Yomark said “supposedly I did [sign]. No, I did not” and noted “it’s a facsimile of a signature.”
While Yomark said he knew Carton for years and sold him small amount of tickets to events to keep a good relationship with the radio station WFAN, he never agreed to give Carton the right to buy $2 million worth of tickets to a Barbara Streisand concert.
A second Barclays executive, former chief of staff Fred Manigione, agreed with Yomark, noting that an email from Carton had been altered to show that ticket sales to Barbara Streisand and Metallica concerts were finalized, although they weren’t.
Joe Meli, who reportedly partnered with Carton in the alleged scam, is currently in prison due to another ticket-related Ponzi scheme. According to NewsDay, Carton’s lawyers claim that he was a victim of Meli and he never intended to harm anyone in the process of his “legitgitimate resale business.”
Carton could face up to 20 years in federal prison if he is convicted. The trial is ongoing.