NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — WFAN host Craig Carton announced his resignation Wednesday, a week after he was arrested on conspiracy and securities fraud charges in an alleged ticket-selling scam.
In a statement, Carton called the allegations “unfounded,” but said they would amount to a distraction.
“For 10 years I’ve had the great privilege of showing up to work every day at my dream job. I have nothing but love and respect for my co-host, the show and the entire CBS Radio family and I’ve always tried to represent them in the best possible light.
“Unfortunately, the unfounded legal issues currently plaguing me will only be a distraction to everyone at WFAN and the show I helped build. With that in mind, I have submitted my resignation to the station and they accepted. I am sad to see this chapter of my life close but know that it will allow me to focus on my family, my well-being and clearing my name, while giving the show the best opportunity to succeed without further disruption.
“I’ve always felt a personal connection to our listeners and want to thank them for making me a part of their daily routine. I hope they can respect the fact that as much as I want to talk about the allegations against me I can’t at this time. There will come a time when I will be able to speak directly about the case and I hope our listeners will be there.
“From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank my family, friends, listeners and especially the executives at WFAN and CBS Radio for their continued understanding and for giving me the most amazing platform to do what I love to do the most, besides being with my family.”
WFAN, which previously had suspended Carton, in turn released a statement reading:
“WFAN has accepted Craig Carton’s resignation. We appreciate all of his contributions over the last decade and wish him and his family well during this next phase. We are especially grateful to our dedicated employees, sponsors and listeners for their continued support of THE FAN. The search for a replacement co-host for the morning show will begin immediately.”
In a civil complaint filed Wednesday, Sept. 6 with the U.S. District Court’s Southern District of New York, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that beginning in or around the middle of 2016, Carton, 48, accrued millions of dollars’ worth of gambling-related debts to casinos and other third parties.
He allegedly solicited investments in ticket reselling enterprises purportedly engaged in purchasing and reselling large blocks of concert tickets for substantial profits, either on his own or through New York-based businessman Joseph Meli.
The civil complaint states the pair presented “millions of dollars’ worth of tickets to upcoming concerts by the artists Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Roger Waters, Metallica and Barbra Streisand. In reality, no such agreements with the concert promoter or venue existed, and the signatures for the concert promoter or venue were forged.
“In certain cases, Meli provided these fake agreements to Carton, for the express purpose of having Carton pass them along to an investor,” the complaint states. “Carton provided to another investor documents referencing a purported agreement by an entity controlled by Meli to purchase millions of dollars’ worth of Adele concert tickets at face value, directly from Adele’s management company.”
The complaint alleges that together Meli and Carton stole $3.6 million. Carton alone is accused of stealing $2 million from a single investor.
Carton is due back in court Oct. 6.
CBS Radio is the parent company of WFAN, 1010 WINS and WCBS 880.