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Barclays Center (and CEO Yormark) said to be victimized by Carton's alleged Ponzi scheme; Boomer & Carton Kitchen kaput

On 9/6/17, when federal securities fraud and wire fraud charges were revealed against WFAN host Craig Carton, who allegedly misappropriated millions in a ticket-selling scam to pay gambling debts, I wondered how long it would be for the Barclays Center to give up on the Boomer & Carton Kitchen, the arena food stand involving Carton and his longtime broadcast partner Boomer Esiaison.

Answer: not long at all. The link to the Kitchen on the arena website is dead, though it's preserved in the Internet Archive. (Update: the arena told Newsday that they had already decided not to renew the food stand. Who knows.) For now, the press release about the November 2013 opening remains still live, as is the arena press release.

So too is the video (below) showing Carton, Esiason, and Barclays/Nets CEO Brett Yormark, as is Carton's membership on the Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment Advisory Board.

Yes, Carton is innocent until proven guilty and, yes, his lawyer, to Billboard, called him the "victim who was deceived, manipulated and used by individuals seeking to gather assets for their own fraudulent scheme."

But if the allegations are legit, the Barclays Center has special reason to be peeved. Not only was Carton charged in a criminal complaint by the Department of Justice, noted in the link at top, he also was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and allegedly misled the arena and forged the signatures of both the venue's "chief of staff" (not sure who) and CEO (Yormark, presumably).

As the SEC said in its complaint, "Carton used his prior dealings and existing relationships with the Venue Company’s executives to lend an added air of plausibility to his ruse."

The Barclays connection

As Billboard reported yesterday, in SEC Scrutinizes $2 Million Wire Transfer Between WFAN's Craig Carton, Hedge Fund and Barclays Center:
Officials with Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment are cooperating with federal authorities... after learning that building officials unknowingly assisted Carton in the theft of $2 million from a leading hedge fund, Billboard has learned. 
.... Officials with the Securities and Exchange Commission say Carton defrauded $5.6 million from investors, promising to spend the money to buy and re-sell concert tickets, but instead used the funds to repay gambling debts and loans to casinos. 
According to the SEC complaint, Carton used his connections with a New York City "Venue Company” to trick hedge fund Brigade Capital Management into handing over $2 million for the purchase of Barbra Streisand and Metallica tickets. 
Billboard has learned that the venue company in question is Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment, which operates Barclays Center in Brooklyn and Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. According to the SEC complaint, Carton instructed the hedge fund to wire $2 million to an account controlled by BSE, and then told arena officials the wire transfer was accidentally sent to the wrong account and convinced them to wire the money to a separate ticket brokerage he controlled.
(All emphases added)

Note: Streisand played both arenas, while Metallica only played the Coliseum.

More from the SEC complaint:
48. Also in or around December 2016, Carton convinced the Hedge Fund to invest in a separate deal for the purchase and resale of $2 million worth of tickets to two specific, upcoming performances by Barbra Streisand and Metallica. On or about December 19, 2016, the Hedge Fund wired $2 million of its pooled investor funds to a third-party company that operated major sports and entertainment venues (the “Venue Company”). Carton and the Hedge Fund had agreed this money would be used to purchase $1 million of tickets to each of the two agreed-upon concerts. The Hedge Fund invested this money under the existing Hedge Fund Agreement with Ticket Jones (described above). Carton/Ticket Jones agreed to resell the Barbra Streisand and Metallica tickets and promised to repay first the Hedge Fund’s principal plus a 10% preferred return, followed by 50% of any additional net proceeds. Meli and Advance Entertainment do not appear to have been involved in this aspect of the scheme.

49. To induce the Hedge Fund to make this additional investment, Carton deceived the Hedge Fund into believing that, as of December 16, 2016, Ticket Jones had an agreement with the Venue Company for the purchase and sale of $2 million worth of tickets to the two agreed-upon Barbra Streisand and Metallica concerts. In reality, Ticket Jones/Carton had no such agreement with the Venue Company. As detailed below, Carton achieved this deceit by providing multiple fabricated documents to the Hedge Fund—including a fake email purportedly from the Venue Company’s Chief of Staff to Carton, and a fake agreement bearing the forged signature of the Venue Company’s CEO. Carton used his prior dealings and existing relationships with the Venue Company’s executives to lend an added air of plausibility to his ruse. Carton’s deceit did not stop with providing fake documents to the Hedge Fund. As described below, when the Hedge Fund made its $2 million investment, Carton misappropriated the money by lying to both the Hedge Fund and the Venue Company. As a result of Carton’s trickery, two days after the Hedge Fund’s $2 million investment, the Venue Company forwarded the full $2 million to Tier One Tickets, another entity controlled by Carton. From there, the money was divvied up between Carton, Associate 1, and a third party.

50. On or about December 16, 2016, Carton forwarded to the Hedge Fund an email that Carton had fabricated. The fake, forwarded email appeared to be from the Venue Company’s Chief of Staff to Carton, and appeared to attach an unsigned agreement between Ticket Jones and the Venue Company. The fabricated cover email purportedly from the Chief of Staff to Carton stated: “If everything is in place please execute and we will do the same.” The attachment was an unsigned document entitled “Event Ticket Agreement,” which purported to reflect an agreement between Ticket Jones and the Venue Company for the purchase and sale of $3 million worth of Barbra Streisand and Metallica tickets at face value (Carton changed the dollar amount to $2 million in the final version of the fake agreement). The Venue Company’s Chief of Staff did not draft or send this email or the attached “Event Ticket Agreement.” Carton fabricated these documents in order to misrepresent to the Hedge Fund that Ticket Jones was close to finalizing an agreement with the Venue Company for the purchase and sale of Barbra Streisand and Metallica tickets.

51. On or about December 18, 2016, a Hedge Fund employee emailed Carton, stating that the Hedge Fund needed Ticket Jones’ finalized agreement with the Venue Company. Later that day, Carton emailed the Hedge Fund a document signed by Carton on behalf of Ticket Jones, and bearing the purported signature—which Carton had forged—of the Venue Company’s CEO. The forged document was entitled “Ticket Jones Event Ticket Agreement,” and appeared to be a finalized version of the unsigned “Event Ticket Agreement” that Carton had forwarded to the Hedge Fund on or about December 16, 2016. The finalized “Ticket Jones Event Ticket Agreement” purported to reflect an agreement between Ticket Jones and the Venue Company for the purchase and sale of $2 million worth of Barbra Streisand and Metallica tickets at face value, to two specific concerts at a particular venue operated by the Venue Company. In reality, Ticket Jones/Carton had no such agreement with the Venue Company.

52. Carton fabricated this purported “Ticket Jones Event Ticket Agreement” and forged the signature of the CEO of the Venue Company. The CEO had never seen and did not sign (or authorize anyone else to sign) the “Ticket Jones Event Ticket Agreement.”

...59. Carton later used his personal credit card to purchase a fraction of the $2 million worth of tickets to the two concerts the Hedge Fund had agreed to invest in. In or around February 2017, Carton purchased from the Venue Company approximately $16,000 worth of Metallica tickets and approximately $345,000 worth of Barbra Streisand tickets. Carton charged these amounts to his personal credit card. Carton did not subsequently purchase any more tickets to these two concerts before they took place. In or around February 2017, Carton additionally purchased $500,000 worth of tickets to a different Barbra Streisand concert—on a different date and at a different venue—from the one the Hedge Fund had agreed to invest in before wiring its $2 million investment to the Venue Company in December 2016. Carton was ultimately unable to resell a significant portion of the Barbra Streisand tickets he purchased.
So, not enough demand for Babs in Nassau?


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