Eddie Antar, one-time ‘Crazy Eddie’ and fraudster, dead at 68
After the electronics retail magnate’s empire collapsed in fraud allegations, he briefly fled to Israel in 1990 with some $50m
OCEAN TOWNSHIP, New Jersey — The man who turned the Crazy Eddie electronics stores into a retail giant before it collapsed amid federal fraud charges has died. Eddie Antar was 68.
The Bloomfield-Cooper funeral home in Ocean Township, New Jersey, confirmed Sunday that Antar, who was Jewish, died Saturday. A cause of death wasn’t disclosed.
The Crazy Eddie chain was known for its ads featuring a maniacal pitchman who touted “Our prices are insane!”
Antar opened his first store in Brooklyn in 1971, and the chain eventually grew into 43 stores. But in 1987, federal prosecutors began proceedings against him for suspected fraud on a massive scale.
He fled to Israel in 1990 after being indicted on securities fraud and insider trading charges, settling in Yavne. Some $50 million of funds that prosecutors suspected were embezzled from his company were laundered through Israeli and Panamanian banks before he left the US.
Antar was extradited to the United States in 1993 and was convicted on racketeering and stock fraud charges. That was overturned in 1995.
He eventually pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges in 1997 and served two years in prison.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.