Craig Carton’s FBI arrest for running a major ticket fraud ponzi scheme has been one of the most shocking stories we’ve seen in a long time. The WFAN radio host is alleged to have run a multi-million dollar ponzi scheme to pay off massive gambling debts and is facing security fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy charges.
Given the extent and seriousness of the charges and some of the crazier details that have come out since Carton’s arrest it may not be a surprise where this story is taking an unfortunate turn next.
The New York Post is now looking into Carton’s charity, Tic Toc Stop. The charity benefits Tourette’s syndrome, which Carton and two of his children have been diagnosed with. Apparently there are serious red flags about Carton’s charity and their lack of programming in spite funds that were raised.
But nearly all the cash raised has been spent on something other than Tourette syndrome, including a series of golf outings, galas and other fundraising events.
Indeed, photos posted on the charity’s website show Carton palling around with retired pro athletes including Mets reliever John Franco, Yankees catcher Rick Cerone and Knicks guard John Starks at one of the big-bucks fundraisers.
In its IRS filings, Tic Top Stop lists two unexplained “contributions” totaling $103,390 made in 2013-’14. Even if that entire amount went to treatment or research, that would account for less than 10 percent of what the charity has taken in, the filings reveal.
An expert with the Charity Navigator watchdog group said the lack of any “program expenses” in its most recent, 2015 filing raised a “major red flag.”
“We rarely ever see organizations report zero for program expenses,” Katie Rusnock said.
“We occasionally see low ratios, but this is definitely far outside the norm.”
While there aren’t any official charges against Carton’s charity, it would be a sad and perhaps predictable turn given what we know about this story so far. Combining Carton’s ponzi scheme and the need to pay off millions in debts with a charity whose finances are “outside the norm” and it certainly paints a conspicuous picture.
Carton’s attorney released a statement regarding the allegations against the charity.
Statement from Craig Carton’s attorney: pic.twitter.com/seS284gD8A
— Jack Dickey (@jackdickey) September 8, 2017
In the least surprising news of all, Carton was suspended indefinitely by WFAN after this story broke. It’s unlikely he’ll ever be heard on the airwaves again but his time in the intense spotlight of the criminal justice system is just beginning.