Westchester native Craig Carton is back in the WFAN booth more than three years after he was last on the air following a conviction for operating a Ponzi scheme.
Carton, who grew up in New Rochelle, was ordered to spend 42 months in prison last April, three years of supervised release, ordered to pay $4,835,186.56 in restitution, and to forfeit $4,590,000 for running a Ponzi scheme that purportedly covered his gambling debts.
On Thursday, Oct. 29, after 1,150 days off the air, Carton was back on WFAN in the afternoon drive, making a solo guest spot during the last hour on what will be his future home on “Roberts & Carton” which will be co-hosted by Evan Roberts.
This was Carton’s first appearance since Sept. 6, 2017.
Carton made just an hourlong appearance on Thursday and is expected to take over as co-host permanently on Monday, Nov. 9. The opening on the coveted afternoon time slot came following longtime host Joe Beningo announcing his retirement this week.
Carton & Roberts will air from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, which is an hour longer than Beningo and Roberts had been doing since taking over the time slot once reserved for Mike Francessa.
- Related story - Westchester Native, Ousted WFAN Radio Host Craig Carton Found Guilty Of Ponzi Scheme
The shock jock’s return to WFAN comes on the heels of HBO releasing “Wild Card: The Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth,” a documentary tracking Carton’s rise to fame and fall from grace.
“For fans of the station, or Craig, he will be back on the FAN today by himself,” Carton’s former morning co-host Boomer Esiason said. “I’m sure this is a long time coming for Craig, and it’s been a long time for all of us.
“He paid an incredible price in his life, and for those of us who know what he has gone through … as a former partner of his, I’m overjoyed that he’s coming back to the station, and he’s part of our family again.”
Speculation began circulating over the summer that Carton could be making his grand return to the station after his “ally” Chris Oliviero was hired in May to run WFAN as a senior vice president and market manager for WFAN.
“If a time in the future came where Craig had gotten his life back on track, fulfilled all that was asked of him and was in a position to resume his career, of course, we’d talk and discuss,” Oliviero said in June.
“I think every other radio group would have the same conversation,” Oliviero added. “His talent is well-documented. I do think New York believes in second chances in life, so I do think that when that day comes, he will have conversations with people. But I don’t know when that is.”
According to authorities, Carton and co-defendant Michael Wright allegedly ripped off investors of as much as $4.6 million in the Ponzi scheme.
The scam was put in place in order to pay off Carton's gambling debts, according to reports, which state that court papers allege Carton ran up millions of dollars in losses with two casinos, plus a debt of $825,000 to an unidentified individual.
Carton, Wright, and a third party worked together to "induce investors to provide them with millions of dollars — based on representations that the investor funds would be used to purchase blocks of tickets to concerts — which would then be re-sold on the secondary market," according to his prosecutors.
Carton showed off his tongue-in-cheek personality on social media before his return, posting “Not sure what to wear to work today, it’s been a long time, was thinking maybe this,” with a shirt that read “FANS Like Myself,” in his first tweet since last June, which was about Jeremy Lin.
“I am grateful to Entercom for the chance to return home to WFAN,” Carton said before his return. “I have dreamt about this moment every minute of every day for the last three years. I know I have work to do to regain the trust of my colleagues, listeners, and advertisers and am committed to doing just that. I can’t wait to get started with Evan Roberts on November 9.”
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