Craig Carton's attorney claims proof of innocence after client's indictments


Craig Carton & 'strip club exec' Michael Wright were handed grand jury indictments for conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud yesterday -- The indictment says Carton and an unnamed co-conspirator invested $4.6 million in a hedge fund “with the understanding that the money would be used to finance the purchase of tickets to events.”

Instead, Carton, Wright and the unnamed co-conspirator “misappropriated” the money, using $1.6 million to repay investors, $1 million for casinos and $1.19 million to pay off debts for Carton and Wright, according to the indictment.

Carton also is accused of using $600,000 of the money to pay off a “gambling-related loan.”

But Carton's attorney Robert Gottlieb told The Post that Craig is the real victim. “[Joseph] Meli used and defrauded countless people including Craig Carton,” his lawyer claimed. (On Tuesday, Meli pleaded guilty to defrauding more than 130 investors who invested more than $95 million with him after he falsely claimed he would purchase tickets to various live events for resale at a profit on the secondary market.)

Meli used the funds for his own personal expenses, including payments for a $3 million house in East Hampton, a 2017 Porsche convertible, and expensive watches and jewelry, the feds said.

He also used the money “to make payments, in a Ponzi-like manner, to previous investors in Meli’s ticket fraud scheme and in unrelated hedge fund.”

Gottlieb pointed to a letter the government sent Carton on Oct. 11 “identifying him as one of Meli’s victims.”

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Post, comes from the same Manhattan US Attorney’s Office that charged Carton, 48, and strip-club exec Michael Wright, 41, with fraud.

Meli's attorney, Daniel Fetterman of Kasowitz Benson Torres, was having none of it. “These boilerplate letters are sweeping notifications that regularly get sent to non-victims and are proof of nothing. Joe Meli flatly denies that Craig Carton was a ‘victim’ of Meli’s ticket reselling business and, in fact, Carton received millions of dollars more from Meli than Carton sent to Meli."

Given that he pleaded guilty to defrauding 130+...what's one more? Unless he's now working for the feds...

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