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Former Prominent Sports Radio Host Sentenced to 3.5 Years in Prison

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Craig Carton, former sports radio personality and co-host of the “Boomer and Carton” show on New York’s WFAN alongside ex-NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, was sentenced on conspiracy, wire fraud and securities fraud charges in New York on Friday, according to The Associated Press.

Judge Colleen McMahon sentenced Carton to 42 months, or 3.5 years, in prison. It’s a relatively lenient sentence when compared against the maximum potential sentence of 45 years, as the AP notes.

In esssence, Carton was busted for a ticket-resale Ponzi scheme.

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The 50-year-old radio host had greatly exaggerated his connections in the entertainment industry, with fake connections to musicians such as Metallica and Barbra Streisand, and used those claims to convince investors about lucrative ticket deals, according to the AP.

“As a unanimous Manhattan jury has found, Carton was all talk,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said when Carton was first convicted of fraud in November 2018.

Carton’s business partner, Joseph Meli, has already been sentenced to 6.5 years in prison for his role in the scam.

Carton was said to have misappropriated nearly $7 million of investor money for his own personal use, which apparently involved supporting his gambling habit.

Was 3.5 years in prison too lenient for Carton?

“Gambling may be why you did what you did, but a gambling addiction is not an excuse for stealing from people,” Judge McMahon told Carton, according to Newsday.

McMahon also ordered that Carton pay $4.8 million in restitution and to forfeit $4.2 million. He also must do 150 hours of community service.

Carton gave an impassioned plea, partially blaming his gambling issues on being a victim of sexual assault as a child.

“It simply made the demons go away,” Carton said of his gambling addiction. “I did it more and more so I could simply escape and feel better… Gambling became my escape, my anesthesia, my coping mechanism.”

McMahon said that whatever trauma Carton experienced as a child did not excuse anything.

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“Every one has a motive,” the judge said. “Every one has a reason… No psychiatrist has opined that it forced you to commit fraud. It explains a lot, but it doesn’t excuse anything.”

As Newsday reports, prosecutors had originally sought at least 70 months minimum for Carton. 42 months, obviously, is quite less than that.

It remains to be seen in the fall of 2022 whether Carton can find a radio gig after he gets out of the joint.

Judge McMahon, for her part, didn’t seem thrilled with the prospect of Carton returning to sports radio, where many of the advertisers tend to be legal gambling businesses.

“That troubles me,” the judge noted.

According to the New York Post, Carton has been replaced by Gregg Giannotti on the since-renamed “Boomer and Gio” show on WFAN.

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Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Birthplace
Boston, Massachusetts
Education
Bachelor of Science in Accounting from University of Nevada-Reno
Location
Seattle, Washington
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Sports




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