Former WFAN Host Craig Carton Subpoenas Barclays Center in Ongoing Fraud Case

Barclay's Center
Bruce Damonte

Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, New York.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York have filed opposition to the document request.

Craig Carton, whose trial on charges that he allegedly operated a ticketing ponzi scheme is set to begin in October, has filed a number of subpoenas as part of his defense including a demand that New York's Barclays Center, operated by BSE Global, turn over documents going back three years, including communications between the arena and the representatives with the U.S. government.

On Monday, U.S. attorneys with the Southern District of New York filed a motion to quash the subpoenas, arguing the documents were too broad and were not authorized by U.S. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon. Carton is preparing his defense against accusations that he allegedly misappropriated $5.6 million from investors, promising to spend their money to buy and re-sell concert tickets, but instead allegedly used the funds to repay gambling debts and past investors.

Carton is also accused of deceiving the Barclays Center into facilitating a fraudulent wire transfer as part of an alleged scheme to steal $2 million from a hedge fund. According to an SEC complaint, Carton used his connections at Barclays Center, which had a commercial relationship with his former employer WFAN radio, to trick hedge fund Brigade Capital Management into handing over $2 million for the purchase of Barbra Streisand and Metallica tickets. After the transfer was complete, Carton allegedly contacted officials at BSE Global and convinced arena officials the wire transfer was accidentally sent to the wrong account and had them wire the money to a separate ticket brokerage he controlled.

Now attorneys for Carton are attempting to subpoena the hedge fund involved in the allegedly fraudulent transfer, as well as its law firm and BSE Global, drawing protest from federal prosecutors who call the document requests "extremely broad" and seek "clearly inadmissible material."

"The breadth of the requests alone shows that these subpoenas are improper 'fishing expeditions' intended as a means of illicitly gathering discovery," wrote Assistant US Attorneys Elisha Kobre and Brendan Quigley in a nine-page legal briefing. 

"The government has received -- and long ago produced to the defense -- extensive document productions from both the Sports and Entertainment Company and the Hedge Fund," the attorneys later wrote. "The subpoenas are thus wholly improper for this reason too."

With the trial less than two months away, a ruling on the case is expected soon. Earlier this year, Carton co-defendant Joe Meli was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison for his involvement in a $98 million ponzi scheme. Carton will be tried alongside strip club owner and alleged co-conspirator Michael Wright — both men face three counts of securities and wire fraud. The trial is set to begin on Oct. 29.


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