Craig Carton, Sports Radio Host, Is Accused of Ponzi Scheme – New York Times

The station’s owner, CBS Radio, said it had suspended Mr. Carton pending an investigation and was cooperating with the authorities.

The acting United States attorney in Manhattan, Joon H. Kim, said Mr. Carton and his co-defendant, Michael Wright, “deceived investors and raised millions of dollars through misrepresentation and outright lies.”

William F. Sweeney Jr., the head of the F.B.I.’s New York office, added that the two men tried to “pay off investors with money that would eventually become future debt.”

Mr. Carton and Mr. Wright were each ordered released on $500,000 bond by a federal magistrate judge, Andrew J. Peck. As the hearing ended, Judge Peck remarked, “With that, the radio crowd in the courtroom today is free to move on to their other business.”

Neither Mr. Carton nor his lawyers responded to reporters’ questions after the hearing. As Mr. Carton left the courthouse, wearing a white sweatshirt with the hood pulled down, he was swarmed by camera crews and a larger crowd of reporters, who chased him as he zigzagged down the block.

Mr. Wright’s lawyer, Jonathan Davidoff, said on Wednesday that his client denied “any involvement in any criminal activity” and looked forward to “his innocence being established.”

The S.E.C.’s complaint says Mr. Carton solicited investments in enterprises that he falsely claimed had access to millions of dollars’ worth of concert tickets at face value and would resell large blocks of tickets for substantial profits.

Mr. Carton provided to one investor fake agreements for entities that he or an associate controlled to buy millions of dollars’ worth of tickets to forthcoming concerts by Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Roger Waters, Metallica and Barbra Streisand, the S.E.C. said.

The hedge fund that provided funds to Mr. Carton was not identified by the authorities. But in December 2016, a fund managed by Brigade Capital Management filed a financing statement with New York State to record a debt owed by two corporations that the S.E.C. complaint says Mr. Carton controlled.

Aaron Michael, the chief compliance officer for Brigade, which manages more than $18 billion in assets, declined to comment. The hedge fund cited in the complaint “had no prior experience in ticket investments or resales,” the S.E.C. said.

The S.E.C. said that Mr. Carton and the associate, Joseph G. Meli, together misappropriated at least $3.6 million from two investors; and that Mr. Carton also misappropriated another $2 million from one of those investors.

Mr. Meli was also named as a defendant in the S.E.C. complaint.

In January, federal prosecutors in Manhattan filed criminal charges against Mr. Meli, accusing him of defrauding investors of millions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme built around a reselling scheme involving tickets to the Broadway musical “Hamilton” and other high-profile events.

Mr. Meli pleaded not guilty to those charges; his lawyer, Daniel J. Fetterman, declined to comment on Wednesday.


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