Jury Finds Craig Carton Guilty Of Being Smarter Than Anyone Thought

A $7 million Ponzi scheme? Never thought you could do it, buddy.
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To anyone who listened to the man on the radio, the idea that Craig Carton would be capable of committing securities and wire fraud was inconceivable. A person who’d probably screw up a between-innings three-legged-race at a minor league baseball game guilty of conspiring to rip off loan sharks and a supposedly well-run hedge fund? Impossible. Even the man himself agreed: He’s far too stupid to have pulled something like that off. Much more likely that he was the unwitting pawn of veterans of more erudite ticket-scalping Ponzi schemes.

craig-carton-scalper

Well, a Manhattan jury has considered the evidence and decided that it’s not impossible at all. Congratulations to Craig Carton for proving himself smarter than anyone who’s heard him talk could possibly imagine. And also for the fact that sentencing guidelines are merely advisory.

After less than a day of deliberations, a jury of three men and nine women found Carton guilty on all three counts against him, including securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud….

Carton, 49, was released on bail but ordered to return for sentencing on Feb. 27. He faces as much as 45 years in prison based on the sentencing guidelines but will likely get far less.

Of course, once he gets out, he’s gonna have to deal with Desmond Finger, or, before that, one of Finger’s guys on the inside.

One of the loan sharks, Desmond Finger, a general manager of Upper East Side strip club Sapphire 39, told the jury he gave Carton several high-interest loans of as much as $500,000 a pop to finance his casino trips in 2016 and 2017.

Their relationship fell apart when the radio host failed to repay a $500,000 loan in 2017, the strip club manager testified.

Finger, of course, is just one of Carton’s victims. And his old co-host, Boomer Esiason, wants them to know that he cares about them. It’s just that he wishes his buddy could have screwed you over with impunity, since it's not really his fault.

“We had all held out hope that Craig would somehow find his way out of what he got himself into….”

“This is a cautionary tale of how your life can spiral out of control and affect so many around you, including your own family, the people that you work with and the people that you try to do business with on the outside,” Esiason said. “Last night there was a moment that where I said, ‘I can’t believe it’s finally come to an end.’ He’s destroyed a lot of people in his wake, and that’s what a gambling addiction can do to you.”

Craig Carton found guilty on all fraud charges, faces 45 years in prison [N.Y. Post]
Boomer Esiason opens up on ‘cautionary tale’ Craig Carton [N.Y. Post]

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Bernie Madoff Was Just Trying To "Change The Way Money Was Managed," Not That Anyone Cares

For about a year now, Bernie Madoff has been holding court with various members of the press about something that's been plaguing him: the fact that few people if any are willing to give credit where credit is due. Yes, he may have pleaded guilty to a $50 billion crime that ruined countless people's lives, including those of his wife and children, one of whom committed suicide as a result, but he did a lot of other stuff too, like run a "successful business" for which he won lots of "industry awards" during his "legitimate years." And, yet, everyone seems to forget all that when his name comes up, much like they conveniently forgot about how Mussolini made the trains run or time, or how Hitler built those wonderful autobahns, or how Ted Bundy made women feel special. And since he's serving a 150 year sentence, Berns has had lots of time to ponder why his years of legitimate achievements go unmentioned and the one thing he keeps coming back to? Irving Picard, who's pulled a fast one on you all, by suggesting that Bernie's crime started wayyyyy before it did, when, in fact, Madoff Securities was only running a Ponzi scheme for barely even 20 years. Examine the evidence Madoff shared with Forbes contributor Diana B. Henriques via email: Jan. 17, 2011 11:05 A.M. … Also remember that the U.S. Attorney admitted that they had no evidence that the crime started in the 80’s and could establish that Montauk and the N.Y. homes in Ruth’s name were not purchased with tainted funds … Mar. 10, 2011 7:35 A.M. … I would love to know what evidence [Picard] has to date my crime back to 1983 … THE FACT IS THAT THERE IS NONE. 8:05 A.M. … I say once again the fraud started in the 90’s … Mar. 18, 2011 9:26 A.M. … I guess I’m obsessed with this START OF CRIME ISSUE. Don't you see, idiots of the media?! That's the real issue here. Not the crime itself but the start of the crime. Do the math. Oct. 11, 2011 7:20 A.M. ... You can do a back of the envelope calculation as follows. From 1963 I made substantial arbitrage profits for the Picower, Shapiro and Chais families joined by the Levy family in 1970. [M]ost of these profits were re­invested and the amounts compounded. In 1970 Saul Alpern formed his partnerships later [run] by Avellino and Bienes. In 1980 I started trading for [French banker] Albert Igoin and his French and Swiss banking associates. All of these accounts averaged about 20% annually and were involved in various forms of convertible arb using bonds, pfds [preferreds], Rts. [rights] and units. [A]nd ALL WERE LEGITIMATE TRADING. THIS CONTINUED THRU THE EARLY 90’S. Nov. 24, 2011 6:51 P.M. … When you look at my RIDDLE [in the Nov. 23 letter], consider the fact that there was in fact no crime until I did not have enough capital in the firm to cover the losses. There is your real STORY The interesting thing here is not that there was an 11-figure fraud, okay? The interesting thing is how long the 11-figure fraud went on. And it stinks to high hell that that slippery fuck Picard and Co. are claiming it dates back to 1983 and that you're all buying it, hook, line and sinker. Come on, people. They're lawyers. Who are you gonna trust, them or a Ponzi schemer? But don't feel sorry for Bernie. Feel sorry for yourselves, for what could have been and what never was. Near the end of that e-mail the clouds of self-deception close in again, and Madoff turns himself into a pitiful martyr: “I made the tragic mistake of trying to change the way money was managed and was successful at the start, but lost my way after a while and refused to admit that I failed at one point.” HE WAS TRYING TO THE WAY MONEY WAS MANAGED! A legitimate way to make Ponzi scheme payments, before it was tragically snuffed out. Oct. 11, 2011 7:36 A.M. … I will never get over the distortions being presented by everyone as to the poor and now homeless when in fact they all signed documents when opening their accounts that they were sophisticated and had enough wealth to withstand the possible losses of short term trading. I wish I had saved the hundreds of letters I received thanking me for how I was responsible for their happiness over the years and their pleading with me to keep their accounts open when I tried to close them … when I worried about the wreckage I might cause if I couldn’t recover. Is the REAL STORY that the investor agreements specifically authorized BLMIS to make Ponzi scheme payments (a totally legitimate type of securities transaction, a short term trade if you will)? Unless someone pulls their head out of their ass, the world will never know. Exclusive: The Secret Madoff Prison Letters [Forbes]