A man who rose to the top of New York sports radio hosting a long-running show with former NFL star Boomer Esiason found out Friday that his sentence for running a fraudulent ticket-selling scheme on the side was 3 1/2 years in prison.
Craig Carton, 50, co-hosted the “Boomer and Carton” show on CBS-owned WFAN radio but it all came crashing down when he was arrested in 2017.
Carton blamed his downfall on a childhood rape in which he was the vicitm and a years-long addiction to gambling, Newsday reported Friday.
“It simply made the demons go away,” he told the judge, according to the paper. “I did it more and more so I could simply escape and feel better … Gambling became my escape, my anesthesia, my coping mechanism.”
Newsday reported that the many fans of his show included the judge who sentenced him in Manhattan Federal Court, Colleen McMahon.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Carton,” she said as the proceeding began. “Colleen from New York, first time, long time,”
Carton solicited investments in his ticket buying scheme by claiming to have an in with the operator of two New York-area arenas and a major concert promotion company, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said.
“He talked of his ability to buy blocks of tickets to live events and sell them for a profit on the secondary market,” Berman said.
“But the talk-show host was all talk,” he said. “Carton’s purported agreements to buy blocks of tickets were part of an elaborate fiction. Today he has learned that the price of defrauding investors is a term in prison.”
Carton, convicted by a jury in November, was also ordered to pay $4.8 million in restitution and to forfeit $4.6 million as part of his sentence.