Strip club operator Michael Wright allegedly helped Carton steal $2 million.
Prosecutors with the Southern District of New York say a co-defendant of former sports radio host Craig Carton should face 21 to 27 months in prison for his role in a Ponzi scheme that stole millions from a hedge fund to pay off loan sharks, casino gambling debts and personal loans.
Michael Wright, a strip club manager in Manhattan who underwrote gambling loans for Carton, pled guilty to fraud charges in the case last September. Roughly a month later, a jury in Manhattan convicted Carton, the former co-host of WFAN's Boomer and Carton morning show, on fraud charges for misappropriating more than $4 million. Officials with the U.S. Attorney's Office say Carton and co-conspirator Joe Meli, along with Wright, tricked investors to buy into phony pools of high-demand tickets for concerts and sporting events. Instead of buying tickets for resale, authorities allege, Wright and Meli conspired with Carton to steal the funds and, in Carton's case, pay off old investors and casinos where Carton had racked up large debts. Meli pled guilty to fraud charges in October 2017 and last April was sentenced to six and a half years in federal prison.
Wright, who co-owns the Manhattan strip club Sapphire 39, asked for leniecy, according to a sentencing memorandum filed by U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, saying his gentlemen's club was expanding and required his personal attention.