By Steven J.J. Weisman
BOSTON — Earlier today, WFAN sports talk host Craig Carton, half of the extremely popular morning talk show “Boomer and Carton” was arrested by FBI agents and charged along with Michael Wright with securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit those crimes. The criminal complaints also describe an unnamed third person designated in the complaints as “CC-1” who is alleged to have conspired with Wright and Carton. In a separate action involving the same alleged scam, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought civil charges against Carton and Joseph Meli. Most likely it is Meli who is “CC-1” from the criminal complaints.
According to the federal complaints, Carton and Wright represented to investors that they had special relationships with the promoters of major concerts of artists such as Adele, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Barbra Streisand that enabled them to purchase large blocks of tickets at low prices and then resell the tickets at tremendous profits that would then be passed along to the investors. To support their representations to investors that included a Hedge Fund, Carton and Wright produced phony contracts with major promoters.
According to Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim, “As alleged, Craig Carton and Michael Wright deceived investors and raised millions of dollars through misrepresentation and outright lies. Their schemes were allegedly propped up by phony contracts with two companies to purchase blocks of concert tickets, when in fact, Carton and Wright had no deals to purchase any tickets at all. As alleged, behind all the talk, the Wright and Carton show was just a sham, designed to fleece investors out of millions ultimately to be spent on payments to casinos and to pay off other personal debt.”
According to the SEC, Carton had millions of dollars of gambling debts.
FBI Assistant Director, William F. Sweeney said, “Carton and Wright thought they could get off easy by allegedly paying off their debts with other people’s money. They then attempted to pay off investors with money that would eventually become future debt as alleged. We see this time and time again, the rise and fall of a Ponzi scheme destined for failure. The truth is, the time will come when your luck runs out. Unfortunately for those arrested today, that time is now.”
If convicted of all of the criminal charges, Carton faces prison time of as much as 45 years and fines of more than 5 million dollars although it is unlikely that, if convicted, his sentence would be that stiff.
In addition to the criminal charges, Carton and Joseph Meli were also charged by the SEC in a separate legal action with civil securities fraud violations relating to the same scam. Regular reader of my blog www.scamicide may find the name of Joseph Meli familiar because I reported in my Scam of the day for January 30, 2017 of him being charged with securities fraud by the SEC in the same type of scam which involved non-existent tickets to the hit show “Hamilton” and other shows and events.
The SEC complaint seeks the return from the defendants of all of the funds alleged to have been taken from Carton and Meli’s victims along with interest and further financial penalties as provided by law.
Steven J.J. Weisman is a practicing attorney, legal editor for TALKERS magazine, a professor of Media Law at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts and publisher of the website www.scamicide.com. He can be e-mailed at: email@example.com. Steven J.J. Weisman is available as a guest to discuss legal matters and the subjects of identity theft and scams.