Top executives from Barclays Center in New York have revealed incriminating information in the ticket fraud trial for former sports-talk-radio star Craig Carton.
Carton was charged with fraud in New York last year after he allegedly led a ticketing Ponzi scheme, defrauding investors out of millions of dollars.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission, an independent agency of the federal government, alleged that Carton activated a scheme through which investors were led to believe they were buying into a ticket resale operation. Meanwhile, the money was allegedly used to pay-off Carton’s gambling debt and previous investors.
The former radio host claims that his business was genuine and there are documents from the operators of Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum as proof.
“As part of his ticket resale business, Mr. Carton developed substantial relationships with senior staff members at Barclays Center,” his attorney wrote in a memo to the court. “Beginning in 2015, employees of Barclays Center began presenting Mr. Carton with opportunities to buy tickets to live events at Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum for Mr. Carton to then resell on the secondary ticket market.”
Brett Yomark, Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment chief executive, which runs Barclays and the Coliseum, told jurors during the trial that he had not agreed to bulk ticket sales contract that Carton had used to urge others to invest.
While Yomark’s signature can be found next to Carton’s on a deal, the chief executive claims it is a fake. He said: “Supposedly I did [sign]. No, I did not,” and noted, “it’s a facsimile of a signature.”
Yomark added that he had sold Carton a small amount of tickets to events over the years to maintain a strong relationship with the radio station WFAN. However, he claims that he never signed off on giving Carton the right to buy $2m worth of tickets to a Barbara Streisand show.
Former Barclays Center chief of staff Fred Manigione said that an email from Carton had been altered to show that ticket sales to Barbara Streisand and Metallica concerts were finalised, even though they had reportedly not been confirmed.
Joe Meli, who reportedly partnered with Carton in the alleged scam, is currently in prison due to another ticket-related Ponzi scheme. According to NewsDay, Carton’s lawyers claim that he was a victim of Meli and he never intended to harm anyone in the process of his “legitimate resale business.”
Carton could face up to 20 years in federal prison if he is convicted. The trial is ongoing.
Image: Mikhail Kim