What to Know
- The nephew of famed retailer-turned-felon Eddie Antar has been charged with securities fraud
- Sam A. Antar allegedly defrauded investors and used the proceeds to gamble and shop
- Eddie Antar's "Crazy Eddie" chain was known for its "Our prices are insane!" commercials before its collapse and his incarceration
The nephew of "Crazy Eddie," the New York retail legend who later went to prison on fraud charges, has himself been charged with allegedly committing fraud to feed a gambling habit.
Sam A. Antar faces theft by deception and securities fraud charges in New Jersey, the state attorney general's office said in a statement.
Antar allegedly used about $974,000 in investor money for gambling and personal spending, the AG's office said.
An attorney for Antar was not immediately available for comment.
The Securities and Exchange Commission also filed civil fraud charges against Sam A. Antar on Tuesday, alleging that he used investor funds to place nearly 42,000 online bets in the span of 14 weeks, in addition to regular visits to Atlantic City casinos.
The SEC noted that Antar previously pled guilty in 2013 to wire fraud charges and served a prison sentence. NJ.com reported in 2013 on the family connection between Sam A. Antar and Eddie Antar, citing an attorney who said Sam was "paying the piper."
The "Crazy Eddie" chain was known for its ads featuring a maniacal pitchman who touted that "Our prices are insane!"
Eddie Antar started with a store in Brooklyn, and the chain eventually grew into 43 stores in four states. But he fled to Israel after being indicted on securities fraud and insider trading charges.
He was extradited back to the United States in 1993 and was convicted on racketeering and stock fraud charges. But that was overturned on appeal in 1995.
He eventually pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges and served a prison term.
In the late 1990s, Sam A. Antar -- son of Eddie's brother Allen -- attempted to reboot the chain, the New York Times reported.