One week after former WFAN sports radio host Craig Carton requested leniency as the sentencing nears for his ticket resale Ponzi fraud, Manhattan prosecutors submitted their statement that Carton serve at least five years in prison.
In his request for a lesser jail sentence, Carton noted being a victim of sexual assault as a child contributing to his mental illness, but prosecutors urged the court to focus on Carton’s current crime. “Carton’s childhood trauma does not excuse, or even explain his actions four decades later in stealing millions of dollars, particularly since in the intervening years, he has been able to lead a highly productive and successful life,” prosecutors wrote in their memo to U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon.
They recommended a prison sentence of 70 to 87 months, while a week prior, Carton’s lawyers suggested a jail time of just 21 to 27 month, according to Newsday’s John Riley.
Carton’s former radio station, NJ 101.5 posted a copy of his personal six-page letter to Judge McMahon where he accepted blame and admitted his gambling addiction.
“Amazingly, I never thought I had a problem, and would vehemently argue with those who thought I did, including my wife who begged me to stop. Despite my wife’s protest and chiding it wasn’t until my 7-year-old son came home from first grade one day shortly after I was arrested. The teacher had the kids try to draw and write about their favorite places to visit. My beautiful son, Anthony, wrote down that his favorite places to visit were Borgata, Atlantis and The Hard Rock Casino in Florida. That was the first time I said to myself, ‘Hey moron, you have a problem.’ I checked into Gamblers Rehab 48 hours later.”
According to Carton, he hasn’t gambled since June 2018. The former radio host has since become a Gamblers Anonymous attendee, even being asked to lead the meetings he frequents. In the letter to Judge McMahon, Carton did admit, gambling again in the future is a possibility because of his addiction.
Carton went on to point out the lack of attention gambling addiction receives, noting the disclaimer to call 1-800-Gambler is “woefully inadequate.” As gambling is legalized and becomes more prominently displayed, Carton believes he could better serve society by being the face of an addiction which left him “bankrupt” and “on the verge of being homeless.”
With WFAN admitting they would be interested in employing Carton again, his lawyers believe allowing the sports radio host to immediately earn a salary would help repay everyone he hurt with his actions. Spending the recommended five years in jail would make it difficult to restart his once highly successful career. Prosecutors argue a quick return to one of the largest radio platforms in the country sends a message that crimes such as Carton’s have few consequences.
On September 6th 2017, Carton was arrested on charges of conspiracy, wire and securities fraud. The former WFAN radio host was found guilty on November 7th of last year and after pushing the date back twice, he’s scheduled to receive his sentencing this Friday, April 5th.