Craig Carton seeks bankruptcy while serving ‘house arrest’ in $1.8M home
CHESTER TOWNSHIP — Disgraced shock jock Craig Carton, who was released from federal prison to finish his sentence in the lap of luxury, says he's broke.
Carton this week filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in federal court, claiming he owes banks, creditors, victims, his wife and the federal government $9.43 million while only expecting to earn $52,000 this year.
But things are not all bad for the brash media personality who was convicted of swindling investors out of millions.
Instead of serving hard time in a federal penitentiary or halfway house, he gets to be ensconced in his $1.8 million, 4-acre property in Morris County with 14 rooms, saltwater pool, a movie theater, eight televisions, a gym and arcade games, among other amenities.
The detailed bankruptcy filing provides an instant replay of Carton's precipitous fall from a radio icon earning a reported $2 million salary to a man who claims to now have just 20 bucks in his pocket and two bank accounts with $1,550 between them.
Carton rose to prominence as one of the "Jersey Guys" on New Jersey 101.5 from 2002 to 2007 before he was picked up by WFAN and went national with "Boomer and Carton."
He was canned by CBS Radio in 2017 after he was arrested and charged with misappropriating $5.6 million from a ticket-resale business, using the proceeds to feed his gambling addiction
Last year he was sentenced to 42 months in prison — half the time prosecutors had requested — and 150 months of community service.
In June, however, he was released from federal prison in Pennsylvania and spent several months in halfway houses until Aug. 12. His house arrest is expected to run through June.
The bankruptcy filing says he owes 49 creditors, including $4.84 million in restitution to the federal government.
Among his debts:
- $603,000 owed to Inversiones y Entretenimiento
- $490,000 to Brookfield Hospitality Properties
- $425,000 owed to Robert Kent, who had lent him $635,000 before his arrest, according to a federal lawsuit
- $385,000 to Sugarhouse Casino
- $351,000 to American Express
He also owes an unspecified amount in domestic support obligations to his wife, who in a separation agreement last year got $800,000 from him, the bankruptcy filing says.
The filing contains a surprising dearth of luxury belongings, listing no cars or boats, just $750 in clothes and a single item of jewelry — a Casio watch worth $100.
Carton and his wife are still listed as living in the township home they tried to sell before he went to prison. The couple purchased the home in 2016 for $2.1 million, but is now worth less with two outstanding mortgages.
With income of just over $4,000 a month, Carton's bankruptcy filing lists $35,932 in monthly expenses including $5,000 in childcare and education for his sons, ages 9, 15 and 18, and 19-year-old-daughter; $15,000 in alimony, maintenance and support; $7,800 in home expenses; and $650 in criminal restitution payments.
His income comes from Street Smart Video, which is producing an HBO documentary about his fall from grace, set to be released in October.
The bankruptcy filing holds onto a glimmer of hope. Asked whether he expects his income to change, the filing answers: "Debtor is hopeful of finding a job in his field as a radio host."
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.