It’s game over for Craig Carton. The embattled co-host of Boomer & Carton on WFAN New York resigned from the radio station today, a week after his arrest on suspicion of co-running a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
“WFAN has accepted Craig Carton’s resignation,” station owner CBS Radio said in a statement this afternoon. “We appreciate all of his contributions over the last decade and wish him and his family well during this next phase. … The search for a replacement co-host for the morning show will begin immediately.”
Carton had teamed with former NFL star Boomer Esiason on the morning-drive show since 2007. WFAN is the most listened-to sports radio station in the country, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Boomer & Carton has been simulcast on CBS Sports Network since January 2014. CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus told Newsday this week that the show will continue on the TV channel even after a casting change. NFL Hall of Famer Phil Simms has been filling in for Carton since Monday.
Carton has issued a resignation statement earlier today that read in part: “Unfortunately, the unfounded legal issues currently plaguing me will only be a distraction to everyone at WFAN and the show I helped build. With that in mind, I have submitted my resignation to the station and they accepted.” Read his full statement below.
Carton was arrested by federal agents at his home on September 6. The feds say he committed securities and wire fraud while co-running a scheme that defrauded investors to the tune of $5.6M. According to a civil complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Carton and fellow NYC resident Joseph Meli “falsely claimed they had access to large blocks of face value tickets to popular concert performances.”
The SEC’s complaint (read it here) says the pair’s “investors were falsely promised high returns from the price markups in ticket resales. But instead of purchasing tickets for resale, Carton and Meli allegedly misappropriated at least $3.6 million to repay earlier investors and cover such other expenses as Carton’s gambling debts. Carton allegedly stole an additional $2 million by tricking a concert venue into forwarding an investor’s money into a bank account belonging to one of Carton’s companies.”
“As alleged in our complaint, investors were lured with promises of big profits from resales of A-list concert tickets, but little did they know their money was being used to cover Carton’s gambling debts among other things,” said Paul Levenson, Director of the SEC’s Boston Regional Office.
Here is Carton’s full statement:
“For 10 years I’ve had the great privilege of showing up to work every day at my dream job. I have nothing but love and respect for my co-host, the show and the entire CBS Radio family and I’ve always tried to represent them in the best possible light.
“Unfortunately, the unfounded legal issues currently plaguing me will only be a distraction to everyone at WFAN and the show I helped build. With that in mind, I have submitted my resignation to the station and they accepted. I am sad to see this chapter of my life close but know that it will allow me to focus on my family, my well-being and clearing my name, while giving the show the best opportunity to succeed without further disruption.
“I’ve always felt a personal connection to our listeners and want to thank them for making me a part of their daily routine. I hope they can respect the fact that as much as I want to talk about the allegations against me I can’t at this time. There will come a time when I will be able to speak directly about the case and I hope our listeners will be there.
“From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank my family, friends, listeners and especially the executives at WFAN and CBS Radio for their continued understanding and for giving me the most amazing platform to do what I love to do the most, besides being with my family.”