AskBiography Logo   Latest News  Follow Us on Twitter  Follow Us on Google Buzz  Became Fan - Facebook  Subscribe to RSSRSS   Bookmark and Share

Crazy Eddie

Crazy Eddie
Company nameCrazy Eddie
Company typePublic (NASDAQ: CRZY)
Slogan"His prices are INSANE!"
IndustryDiscount electronics
FoundedBrooklyn, New York, 1971 (original)
Wayne, NJ, 1998 (revival)
2009 (second revival)
Defunct1989 (original)
2005 (first revival)
HeadquartersBrooklyn (original headquarters)
Edison, NJ (2nd headquarters)
Key peopleEddie Antar, Co-founder, President and CEO
Sam M. Antar, Co-founder
Sam E. Antar, CFO

     Home | Company | Crazy Eddie

Crazy Eddie is the name of a consumer electronics retailer conducting business through the internet and by telephone. The venture is the most recent to be doing business under the Crazy Eddie name, with the most well known (and later infamous) being a chain of retail stores that operated throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut for nearly twenty years.

Crazy Eddie was started in 1971 in Brooklyn, New York by businessmen Eddie and Sam M. Antar as ERS Electronics, named after Eddie, his cousin Ronnie (Ronnie Gindi, a partner), and his father Sam. The chain rose to prominence throughout the Tri-State Region as much for its prices as for its memorable radio and television commercials, featuring a frenetic, "crazy" character played by radio DJ Jerry Carroll (who copied most of his shtick from early TV-commercial pioneer, used car and electronics salesman Earl "Madman" Muntz). At its peak, Crazy Eddie had 43 stores in the chain, and earned more than $300 million in sales.

In February 1987, the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey commenced a federal grand jury investigation into the warranty billing practices of Crazy Eddie. In September of that year, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission initiated an investigation into alleged violations of federal securities laws by certain Crazy Eddie officers and employees. Eddie Antar was eventually charged with a series of crimes.

Unable to sustain his fraudulent business practices, co-founder Eddie Antar cashed in millions of dollars worth of stock and resigned from the company in December 1986. Crazy Eddie's board of directors lost control of the company in November 1987 after a proxy battle with a group led by Elias Zinn and Victor Palmieri, known as the Oppenheimer-Palmieri Group. The entire Antar family was immediately removed from the business. The new owners quickly discovered the true extent of the Antar family's fraud, but were unable to turn around Crazy Eddie's quickly declining fortunes. In 1989, the company declared bankruptcy and was liquidated. Crazy Eddie became a known symbol for corporate fraud in its time, but has since been eclipsed by the Enron, Worldcom and Bernie Madoff accounting scandals.

Antar fled to Israel in February 1990, but was returned to the United States in January 1993 to stand trial. His 1993 conviction on fraud charges was overturned, but he eventually pleaded guilty in 1996. In 1997, Antar was sentenced to eight years in prison and paid large fines. He was released from prison in 1999.

Warning: simplexml_load_file( [function.simplexml-load-file]: failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.0 410 Gone in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 257

Warning: simplexml_load_file() [function.simplexml-load-file]: I/O warning : failed to load external entity "" in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 257

Fatal error: Call to a member function children() on a non-object in /home/askbio/public_html/index_bio.php on line 260