If you ever saw a Crazy Eddie commercial, then you know the electronics retail giant’s prices were “insane!”
At its height, the chain had 43 stores in four states. Eddie Antar started the chain in 1969 with a store in Brooklyn, N.Y. The chain’s growth was helped by the introduction of the VCR.
In 1984, the chain went public. Stockholders took over the company during a revolt in 1987, and shortly after that it was discovered that $45 million in merchandise was missing.
At the same time, federal prosecutors had been building a fraud case against Antar, charging that he had defrauded shareholders through stock manipulation, according to The New York Times.
In 1990, Antar fled to Israel after being indicted on securities fraud and insider trading.
Three years later, he was extradited back to the U.S. and found guilty of racketeering and stock fraud, which was overturned on appeal in 1995.
He eventually served seven years in prison after a pleading guilty in a plea bargain to one charge of racketeering conspiracy.
Antar died on Saturday, but a cause of death was not disclosed. He was 68.
Although Antar was the man behind Crazy Eddie, he was not the pitchman who appeared in its commercials.
For more than 13 years, Jerry Carroll, a radio DJ, was the man who starred in thousands of Crazy Eddie radio and TV ads.
Carroll’s fast-talking, shout-at-you style made those commercials memorable.
The ads always ended the same way, with Crazy Eddie prices being touted as “in-SAAAANE!”