March 2, 2009

Crazy Eddie revival ‘nuts’

A former official with the defunct Crazy Eddie stores says a New York businessman's plan to revive the controversial name isn't just crazy, it's nuts.

Sam Antar, the former chief financial officer of Crazy Eddie who served six months of house arrest after he helped falsify the store's records, criticized entrepreneur Jack Gemal's plan to revive the 1970s and '80s electronics chain by opening 50 stores within the next two years, the New York Post reported Monday.

Imagine starting a new investment firm called Bernie Madoff or a corporation by the name of Enron? It's nuts, said Antar, whose uncle, company founder Eddie Antar, served 7 1/2 years in prison for his part in the fraud scheme.

The name has a vile, ugly history -- because of the crimes we committed. We lost investors millions of dollars, Sam Antar told the Post.

Gemal said he purchased the store's trademark from Trident Growth Fund LP for less than the price of a Prius.

Any New Yorker over 35 knows the line, 'Crazy Eddie -- his prices are in-saane!' That recognition is worth a lot, Gemal said to the newspaper, referencing the store's famous ad campaign featuring Jerry Carroll as a manic salesman.