Sam Antar of Crazy Eddie Spills

Sam Antar is a bad man. I don't expect many of you to recognize the name because even I was still a teenager when he was executing massive securities fraud. He was one of the criminal masterminds behind New York's famous Crazy Eddie scam. He was a CPA, and he was the CFO of Crazy Eddie, and he readily admits to securities fraud, skimming, money laundering through a technique he calls the "Panama Pump", and a variety of other crimes. He's a convicted felon.

The thing that makes Sam Antar interesting to me is that he's so up front about his crimes. He makes no excuses for his behavior, honestly believes he's going to Hell, and now assists law enforcement in the prosecution of white collar crimes and criminals. He maintains a blog about white collar fraud and he writes for Seeking Alpha from time to time.

He was recently interviewed by Phil's Stock World and I thought you guys would be fascinated by this glimpse into the twisted soul of a con man. It's rare to come across a guy like Sam Antar, who is so willing to discuss what he did, and I think we can learn a lot from his insights into the criminal mind. He explains how things like Bernie Madoff happen, how easy it is to distract an auditor from finding out what's really going on with your books, and how to inflate a companies earnings by committing less fraud pre-IPO.

Additionally, there are couple of videos at the bottom of the page where Antar comes off as a complete sociopath. Pretty chilling stuff when you consider that there are many more like him out there. I know it's not our usual WSO fare, but it never hurts to bone up on who might be trying to screw you.

I think part of the genius of the whole Crazy Eddie scam was how silly the company portrayed themselves with the screwball announcer and everything. We're hard-wired to give the benefit of the doubt to people who make us laugh, and that certainly helped Crazy Eddie maintain the scam for almost 20 years. Pretty incredible.

I thought I'd leave you with this gem from the days of mullets and Miami Vice:

Comments (4)

JohnnyCage, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I remember learning about Crazy Eddy in my accounting class. This is a nice retro throwback of a fraud O.G.

Beef, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Not really too familiar with this story, but most of what he did wrong was to rip off Uncle Sam to evade taxes, right? He also doctored the revenue figures to fool investors, which I'm guessing lost a massive amount of money when everything collapsed, but I don't think tax evasion gets you a one-way ticket to Hell :-)

Wall Street leaders now understand that they made a mistake, one born of their innocent and trusting nature. They trusted ordinary Americans to behave more responsibly than they themselves ever would, and these ordinary Americans betrayed their trust.
  • 1
JohnnyCage, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Crazy Eddie=crazy Edmund? :)

Eddie Braverman, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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