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Craig Carton’s Fraud Trial Begins

Brandon Contes

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On Tuesday, the federal fraud trial began for former WFAN morning host Craig Carton.

According to prosecutors, Carton used his fame and connections to acquire investments for a ticket resale business, which he instead used to pay personal debts.  “People liked him, people trusted him and he lied to those people. That’s fraud and it’s a serious crime,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan Quigley.

Carton was arrested on September 6th, 2017 on charges of fraud amid accusations of running a $5.6 million Ponzi scheme.

“He took their money and used it not on tickets but to pay casinos, to pay back other people who had invested, even on landscapers,” said Quigley in his opening statement, also adding “Carton used the money like his own personal piggy bank.”

Carton’s defense attorneys presented the jury with the argument, the popular radio host was not a con-man himself, but a victim of his alleged co-conspirator Joseph Meli.  “He thought Mr. Meli was legitimate, and you’ll learn that Mr. Carton was played,” defense lawyer Robert Gottlieb said. “He had no reason to suspect that Meli was the con man, the huckster that Mr. Meli turned out to be.”

Gottlieb recognizes that investors were indeed cheated and deceived, but Carton himself had intended to fulfill his promises as he was unaware Meli was a con-man.  Earlier this year, Meli pleaded guilty to a separate $100 million ticket-related Ponzi scheme, for which he is now serving 6.5 years in prison.

Carton himself faces jail-time, something he wrote about in his 2013 book, Loudmouth: Tales (and Fantasies) of Sports, Sex, and Salvation. “My single fear is being locked up in jail. It’s irrational, but I think about it often.”  An irrational fear that Carton could see the reality of, if he, along with his defense team are unable to prove innocence.

For those that would like to follow the case, which is expected to last between two and three weeks, Newsday’s John Riley was on-site, providing updates of the trial via Twitter.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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Sports Radio News

Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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