Terrible Sports Talk Radio Host Also Terrible Gambler, Ticket Reseller and Ponzi Schemer

Turns out the Craig Carton Ticket Brokerage was not the slam-dunk investment some hedge funds hoped.
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As anyone who has the misfortune of hearing his awful takes during the morning drive on New York’s WFAN knows, Craig Carton is full of bad ideas. Until now, however, the worst that could be said of those ideas were that they are idiotic, ill-formed and ill-informed and irritating. Turns out at least one previously unaired idea was also allegedly illegal.

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Carton was arrested at his home in Manhattan Wednesday and charged with ripping off investors of millions of dollars in an alleged scam that involved buying and and selling tickets to concerts by Adele, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Barbra Streisand. U.S. regulators said he used the money to pay off gambling debts.

To summarize, when not polluting the airwaves of the Greater New York area, Carton was running gup literally millions of dollars in gambling debt. And as vastly overpaid as he is for what he does, his $250K annual salary didn’t cover it. So he and a couple of buddies had an idea: Get some hedge fund managers to back a ticket-reselling operation, promising 30% to 50% returns, then use that money to pay off the aforementioned gambling losses. Then, put almost $1 million worth of Barbara Streisand tickets on your credit card, sell them for seven or eight times face value, and everybody’s happy. This, suffice it to say, did not work out, leading him to call in sick with being arrested this morning.

According to the complaint, Carton was ultimately unable to resell a significant portion of the Barbra Streisand tickets he purchased.

And, in case you were wondering: Yes—there is a connection between Craig Carton’s event ticket Ponzi scheme and the Hamilton Ponzi scheme of earlier this year.

On Wednesday, Carton, 48, was also sued for fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which said that Carton and another man, Joseph Meli, raised more than $5 million from investors in a Ponzi scheme claiming access to tickets for resale…. Meli, 43, was charged in January in an alleged reselling scheme involving tickets to the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.”

Long story short, Chris Christie may yet get that job in sports talk radio that he so richly deserves.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney and FBI Assistant Director Announce Securities And Wire Fraud Charges Against Craig Carton And Michael Wright [press release]
WFAN’s Craig Carton Charged in Ticket Ponzi Scheme to Pay Debts [Bloomberg]
Craig Carton: 5 things to know about the charges [LoHud]

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