Skip to main content

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 NBA.com 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?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

No, security guards can't ban photos. Questions remain about visibility of ID/sticker system.

The bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Community Update meeting June 14, held at 55 Hanson Place, addressed multiple issues, including delays in the project, a new detente with project neighbors,concerns about traffic congestion, upcoming sewer work and demolitions, and an explanation of how high winds caused debris to fly off the under-construction 38 Sixth Avenue building. I'll have more coverage.
Security issues came up several times at the meeting.
Wayne Bailey, a resident who regularly takes photos and videos (that I often use) of construction/operations issues that impact residents, asked representatives of Tishman Construction if the security guard at the sites they're building works for them.
After Tishman Senior VP Eric Reid said yes, Bailey asked why a guard told him not to shoot video of the site, even though he was on a public street.

"I will address it with principals for that security firm," Reid said.
Forest City Ratner executive Ashley Cotton, the …

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming + FAQ (post-dated pinned post)

This graphic, posted in January 2018, is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. Note the unbuilt B1 and the proposed shift in bulk to the unbuilt Site 5.

The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change. The project is already well behind that tentative timetable.

How many people are expected?

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park has a projected 6,430 apartments housing 2.1 persons per unit (as per Chapter 4 of the 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement), which would mean 13,503 new residents, with 1,890 among them in low-income affordable rentals, and 2,835 in moderate- and middle-income affordable rentals.

That leaves 8,778 people in market-rate rentals and condos, though let's call it 8,358 after subtracting 420 who may live in 200 promised below-market condos. So that's 5,145 in below-market units, though many of them won't be so cheap.

As …

The passing of David Sheets, Dean Street renter, former Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality

David Sheets, longtime Dean Street renter, Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality, died 1/17/18 in HCA Greenview Hospital in Bowling Green, KY. He was 56.

There are obituary notices in the Bowling Green Daily News and the Wichita Eagle, which state:
He was born in Wichita, KS where he attended public Schools and Wichita State University. He lived for many years in Brooklyn, NY, and was employed as a legal assistant. David's hobby was cartography and had an avid interest in Mass Transit Systems of the world. David was predeceased by his father, Kenneth E. Sheets. He is survived by his mother, Wilma Smith, step-brother, Billy Ray Smith and his wife, Jane all of Bowling Green; step-sister, Ellen Smith Alexander and her husband, Jerry of Bella Vista, AR; several cousins and step-nieces and step-nephews also survive. Memorial Services will be on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm with visitation from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm Monday at Johnson-Vaughn-Phe…

Some skepticism on Belmont hockey deal: lease value seems far below Aqueduct racino; unclear (but large?) cost for LIRR service

As I wrote for The Bridge 12/20/1, The Islanders Say Bye to Brooklyn, But Where Next?, the press conference announcing a new arena at Belmont Park for the New York Islanders was "long on pomp... but short on specifics."

Notably, a lease valued at $40 million "upfront to lease up to 43 acres over 49 years... seems like a good deal on rent for the state-controlled property." Also, the Long Island Rail Road will expand service to Belmont.

That indicates public support for an arena widely described as "privately financed," but how much? We don't know yet, but some more details--or at least questions--have emerged.

An Aqueduct comparable?

Well, we don't know what the other bid was, and there aren't exactly parcels that large offering direct comparables.

But consider: Genting New York LLC in September 2010 was granted a franchise to operate a video lottery terminal under a 30 year lease on 67 acres at Aqueduct Park (as noted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo).

As…

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…