Craig Carton, co-host of the popular WFAN sports talk radio show “Boomer and Carton,” was arrested Wednesday and charged with multiple counts of wire and securities fraud for allegedly running a “Ponzi-like” ticket scheme with millions in investors funds.
Carton, 48, was arrested early Wednesday along with 41-year-old alleged co-conspirator Michael Wright, according to a joint statement from the FBI and the Manhattan U.S. Attorney.
The men allegedly ran an elaborate ticket scam by creating fake companies to negotiate the re-sale of entertainment tickets. They then allegedly used investors funds to pay off personal debts, officials said.
According to the criminal complaint, Carton and Wright allegedly began the scheme in 2016, after Carton “accrued millions of dollars’ worth of gambling-related debts.”
Both men have been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud, one count of wire fraud, and one count of securities fraud.
If found guilty, they could both face more than 20 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines on a single count of securities fraud alone.
For the last decade, Carton has hosted the morning sports talk radio show with former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason. In 2014, the show was picked up by CBS Sports Network and carried live on the network.
Fans of the radio show who’ve grown accustomed to hearing Carton’s voice kicking-off the show were likely surprised Wednesday when Esiason began the show.
“If you’re hearing me starting the show, that means numb nuts is under the weather and he’s not here,” Esiason joked, adding that the program would instead be co-hosted with sports personality Jerry Recco.
In between discussing highlights from last night’s Yankees game, Esiason joked about Carton’s absence. But later on in the show, a clearly shaken Esiason broke the news of Carton’s arrest.
“I am aware now why Craig was not here this morning — unfortunately he was arrested this morning,” Esiason said. “I’m — I’m taken aback and surprised by it, just like I’m sure everybody else is as well.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney Jr. said Carton and Wright’s alleged scheme was “destined for failure.”
“Carton and Wright thought they could get off easy by allegedly paying off their debts with other people’s money,” he said. “The truth is, the time will come when your luck runs out. Unfortunately for those arrested today, that time is now.”