NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Eddie Antar, the man behind the now-defunct “Crazy Eddie” chain of stores, died Saturday at the age of 68. His family has not disclosed the cause of his death.
In 1984, the chain went public but shareholders took over the company in a stockholder revolt in 1987. They soon found that $45 million in merchandise was missing.
In 1990, Antar fled to Israel after being indicted on securities fraud and insider trading.
In 1993, he was extradited back to the U.S. He was later found guilty of racketeering and stock fraud. That verdict was overturned on appeal in 1995.
He eventually served seven years in prison after pleading guilty in a plea bargain to one charge of racketeering conspiracy.
Listen to NPRs “Inside The Mind Of A Financial Criminal.”
Watch as Crazy Eddie Antar and His CFO/CPA Cousin Sam Antar meet for first time in 30 Years:
Antar started the chain in 1969 with a store in Brooklyn. At its height, the chain had 43 stores in four states, boosted by the introduction of the video cassette recorder or VCR.
Not to be confused with the Jerry Carroll, a radio DJ, the man who starred in thousands of Crazy Eddie radio and TV ads for 13 years, the more subdued Antar transformed a store in Brooklyn into the region’s largest electronics retailer.
Carroll’s fast-talking, shouting style made those iconic commercials among the most memorable radio spots ever.
The ads always ended with Jerry shouting Eddie’s famous slogan, “Our prices are “in-SAAAAAAAAAANE!”