Disgraced New York sports talk show host Craig Carton — greeted in federal court Friday by Judge Colleen McMahon’s greeting, “Colleen from New York. First time, long time” — was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for a nearly $7 million ticket scam to pay off his gambling debts, the New York Post reported.
Carton, who with former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason hosted the “Boomer and Carton” show on WFAN for a decade, had sought to avoid prison time.
However, McMahon lectured Carton, 50, as he sat expressionless.
“Your marriage is over, your kids are terrified … reputation in tatters,” she said to the father of four. “Craig Carton, you have indeed descended into a hell of your own making.”
Carton was found guilty of a Ponzi-like scheme in which he persuaded wealthy investors to spend millions on blocks of tickets to musical shows by performers as diverse as Adele and Metallica, promising them a hefty return on their investments via ticket resales.
Instead, Carton kept about $4.6 million for himself as he said he tried to pay off debts he accrued as a self-described “compulsive gambler.”
In arguing for leniency, Carton claimed he fell into gambling as he was trying to get a legitimate ticket-selling business off the ground.
“I’m truly powerless over this disease,” said an apparently contrite Carton, who hardly sounded like the brash half of a talk show team who beginning in 2007 rose to fame in the nation’s biggest and most competitive radio market.
Carton left the popular sports talk show immediately after his arrest in September 2017. The Post, citing court papers, reported that he has paid back $50,000 to investors he defrauded.
A jury in November convicted Carton of conspiracy, wire fraud and securities fraud. Prosecutors asked for a sentence of 5-7 years, but he had faced up to 45 years.