“I thought he called in sick this morning, but unfortunately my partner was arrested,” former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason told listeners of WFAN's Boomer & Carton show Wednesday. The New York Daily News reports New York morning show host Craig Carton was arrested Wednesday and charged with securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy for allegedly scamming investors out of $5.6 million to pay off gambling debts. According to court filings, Carton had racked up millions in losses at two casinos and owed $825,000 to an unidentified person. In an email exchange released by the court, an accomplice suggested Carton could flee to Costa Rica or change his identity and start a new life to escape his debt, Bloomberg reports.
Instead, Carton allegedly started a fake ticket reselling business. He allegedly told investors he would use their money to buy blocks of tickets for major music events through agreements with promoters and venues then resell those tickets, NBC New York reports. But: "Carton ... had no deals to purchase any tickets at all," US Attorney Joon Kim says. Kim says Carton was actually running "a sham, designed to fleece investors out of millions." Carton's alleged operation is described by authorities as "Ponzi-like." Carton, who has been co-hosting Boomer & Carton for a decade and reportedly earns $250,000 a year, is facing up to 45 years in jail and millions in fines. He's also facing a civil suit for fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission. (Read more fraud stories.)