Former WFAN radio host Craig Carton convicted of fraud
By LARRY NEUMEISTER
NEW YORK (AP) - Craig Carton, the former co-host of a sports radio show with ex-NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, emerged from a courthouse where he was convicted of fraud Wednesday to say he was disappointed with the verdict, though he respected it.
"I need to let it sink in now," Carton said. "I'm going to go home and hug my kids and let my lawyers deal with the rest of it."
His lawyers said they planned to appeal the Manhattan federal court jury verdict. Sentencing was set for Feb. 27 on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and securities fraud.
The verdict came after five hours of deliberations that began Tuesday.
Carton, 49, of Manhattan, was Esiason's on-air partner for years on WFAN's "Boomer and Carton" show. He left the program after his arrest last year.
He was accused of swindling investors in a ticket reselling business.
Prosecutors said he spent investor money on personal expenses, including gambling debts and landscaping bills.
Carton's lawyers argued during a week-and-a-half long trial that Carton was no crook and that he was victimized by his former business partner, Joseph Meli.
Meli was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison earlier this year after pleading guilty in a $100 million ticket reselling business fraud.
Prosecutors said the former co-host of WFAN's "Boomer and Carton" show had misappropriated at least $5.6 million. Carton didn't visibly react as the verdict was announced.
"I'm obviously disappointed with the verdict today," Carton said shortly after he walked out of the courthouse. His lawyers had said he did not plan to say anything.
"I respect it," he also said of the jury's decision.
After Carton's arrest, Esiason told the Boston radio team of Toucher & Rich morning that he was "lost and kind of a little bit heartbroken over the whole thing."
In a statement, Carton promised that "when this strange episode is over, I'll be back, stronger than ever."
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