"Crazy" Eddie Antar Dies At 68

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Sep 12, 2016

Eddie Antar, also known as "Crazy Eddie," has died on Saturday at 68 years old, according to CNN Money. Antar built a retail empire in the 70s and 80s by offering deals so good it was curious as to how exactly he was able to stay in business. The answer, it turned out, was tax fraud and securities fraud, leading him to flee the country once the game was up and live as a fugitive for two years before finally being arrested. 

Before his infamous downfall, Antar was known for numerous TV and radio commercials that declared his prices were so low they were insane, hence the "Crazy Eddie" branding. When his company began to lose profits, it was soon revealed that the entire business was rife with fraud and had been since the beginning. The company, with the help of his cousin Sam Antar, who served as CFO, regularly altered books to eliminate taxable income, skimmed millions of dollars from the business, deposited money in hidden offshore bank accounts, falsifying inventories to make stock values go up, and engaging in a securities fraud scheme where the Antars made it appear that profits were increasing when in fact they were simply stealing less money. 

When the fraud was discovered, Eddie Antar fled to Israel, where he lived with his family under an assumed name until being arrested two years later near Tel Aviv. Sam Antar, the CFO, stayed in the U.S. and was convicted of fraud, for which he served six months of house arrest. He currently works as a forensic accountant who helps companies detect fraud. 

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