The verdict is in and the news is not good for former WFAN morning host Craig Carton. A Manhattan federal jury has found the sports radio veteran guilty on all counts, including securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.
Carton’s week long trial featured testimony from hedge fund executives who claimed the sports radio personality received millions of dollars to buy blocks of event tickets to be resold at a profit. Carton reportedly worked with two alleged co-conspirators, Michael Wright, who has already plead guilty, and Joseph Meli, who is already locked up for his involvement in a separate Ponzi scheme. A paper trail though showed money being used by Carton and his co-conspirators to pay off casinos, investors, gambling debts, and a landscaper who worked on Carton’s house.
One witness testified that Carton was a frequent visitor to casinos, and borrowed large sums of cash from loan sharks. One of those sharks, Sapphire 39 strip club owner Desmond Finger, told the court that he provided Carton with a number of loans in 2016 and 2017 but after Carton failed to repay five hundred thousand dollars he decided to testify against him.
Additional evidence was supplied by the federal government showing Carton had doctored emails, including one which was supposedly from Fred Mangione, chief of staff of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, the group which owns the Barclays Center and the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Mangione email though had minor mistakes in the signature section listing his working title as “Chief of Staff,” instead of “Chief Of Staff”.
In an ironic twist, despite making a healthy living by sharing his opinions with a listening audience, Carton chose to remain silent and not testify. Boomer Esiason’s former radio partner left WFAN after his arrest last September. He has since been hosting a daily radio show, “Carton and Friends”, for the FNTSY Sports Network.
Carton is now facing up to 45 years behind bars following the conviction. He is currently released on bail.