Getting to the bottom of Crazy Eddie
Jul 26, 2017 | 1707 views | 0 0 comments | 280 280 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A couple of week ago we ran this undated photo we found in our archives and asked our readers for ideas on what might be going on.

Well, a number of you emailed with information on Crazy Eddie, with most of you commenting the annoying commercials for the electronics chain store (someone sent us a Youtube link!) and the subsequent scandal that brought down Crazy Eddie. Here's some details one emailer found on the Internet:

Crazy Eddie was a consumer electronics chain in the Northeastern United States, previously called ERS Electronics (ERS stood for Eddie, Rose and Sam, the latter two of whom were Eddie’s parents). It was started in 1971 in Brooklyn by businessmen Eddie and Sam M. Antar.

The chain rose to prominence throughout the tristate 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 four states, and reported more than $300 million in sales.

In February 1987, the United States Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey commenced a federal grand jury investigation into the financial activities 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. 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 was subject to numerous fines. He was released from prison in 1999.

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 approved the sale of the company in November 1987.

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.

So there you have it. One responder suggested that Crazy Eddie might have been trying to open a store on Queens Boulevard, which could be what the ladies were protesting.

Another jokingly suggested they might be directing their protest at “Crazy” Ed Koch, the former mayor!
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