Alleged ticket-scalping Ponzi schemer and affirmed nitwit hot-take yeller Craig Carton can explain the whole thing, the whole thing being that little multi-million series of alleged schemes to buy up and resell concert tickets as a front for paying off his massive gambling debt. As you might expect, it’s not his fault. You see, a veteran ticket-scalping Ponzi schemer merely roped him in so as to use his not-so-good name and his connections—stemming from the not-so-good food stall to which he lends his name at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center—with him being none the wiser about the shady things going on in his name.
“The government’s allegations against Craig Carton demonstrate a gross misunderstanding of what happened,” his lawyer, Robert C. Gottlieb, of Gottlieb & Janey, LLP, said in a statement provided to The News by a PR firm. “Craig is a victim who was deceived, manipulated and used by individuals seeking to gather assets for their own fraudulent schemes.
“As you can imagine, it’s been incredibly hard to be silent while there is an endless stream of vitriol being hurled my way, but I’m confident that when the facts come out, you’ll see that I am not guilty of these charges,” Carton said in a statement released by a publicist.
“My fight has only just begun and I know when this strange episode is over, I’ll be back, stronger than ever.”
The “individuals” in question presumably include Joseph Meli, alleged mastermind of the alleged Hamilton ticket Ponzi scheme that laid bare everything that is wrong with this city other than Craig Carton. That explanation does not, however, seem to cover the alleged grift on hedge fund of the year Brigade Capital Management that the authorities say Carton managed all by himself, but which certainly involved a gross misunderstanding or series of gross misunderstandings. The question is who, however, was misunderstanding who? (And also whether this is a representative case for Brigade’s due-diligence process.)
After negotiating several allegedly-fraudulent agreements, in December Carton convinced the Hedge Fund to invest in a separate deal for the "purchase and resale of $2 million worth of tickets to two specific, upcoming performances by Barbra Streisand and Metallica” at the Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum….
When Brigade officials asked for a phone meeting with BSE officials, "Carton falsely represented, in three separate emails on the morning of Dec. 19, 2016, that this was not possible because 'the [Venue Company’s] execs are in Orlando'; 'they are in meetings most of the day apparently'; and 'they are in meetings till 4:30 and then flying home,'” according the SEC suit. Eventually, hedge fund officials relented and wired the $2 million to the Barclays Center.
On that same day, Carton then allegedly called BSE and "told him to expect a $2 million wire," the complaint reads. "Carton falsely claimed the wire had been sent 'in error' and that Carton’s investor meant to send the money to another bank account. Carton stated that the money should be 'refunded' to a bank account in the name of Tier One Tickets." Carton’s ploy allegedly worked and on Dec. 21, BSE, "relying on Carton’s confirmation, wired the Hedge Fund’s full $2 million to Tier One Tickets, accompanied by the following memo by the Venue Company: 'Return of Wire Sent in Error.'"
Whatever the truth behind it all is, let’s not forget that there are victims here other than Craig Carton and the people and hedge funds he allegedly ripped off. Like Carton’s partner in metaphorical rather than actual crime, Boomer Esiason.
“I’m lost and heartbroken over the whole thing, trying to figure out what the future holds,” the former NFL quarterback said. “We just have to wait and see and only time will tell.”
Craig Carton lawyer calls WFAN shock jock ‘a victim’ [N.Y. Post]
Craig Carton couldn’t stand to be silent anymore [N.Y. Post]
SEC Scrutinizes $2 Million Wire Transfer Between WFAN’s Craig Carton, Hedge Fund and Barclays Center [Billboard]
Boomer Esiason: Craig Carton conversation was really difficult [N.Y. Post]