Eddie Antar, AKA Crazy Eddie ran a successful chain of electronics retail stores back in the 1980s that at its peak was worth $300 million. Does anyone remember the Crazy Eddie commercials? His prices were insane! Eddie Antar did not star in his commercials. A radio DJ played the role of “crazy” Eddie. In real life Eddie Antar was crazier than the character played in his commercials.
Eddie Antar did 8 years in Federal prison after he pleaded guilty to charges of financial fraud. Eddie was involved in money laundering, pump and dump stock schemes, tax evasion, insider trading, and securities fraud. Eddie even got caught cheating on his wife.
After Eddie got indicted he fled to Israel. Eddie was on America’s most wanted poster for two years before the Israeli police caught up with him and allowed him to be extradited back to the United States. Israel’s Law of Return guarantees Israeli citizenship for all Jews, even Jewish criminals fleeing from the law. At one point the FBI thought that legendary Jewish mobster Meyer Lansky fled to Israel. It turned out Lansky was hiding out in open sight in Brighton Beach.
Eddie Antar died in 2016. He was only 68 years old. Eddie has a nephew Sam Antar. Sam Antar was locked up in Otisville Federal prison for 21 months in 2013 after he pleaded guilty to defrauding investors of a quarter of a million dollars. Sam is a gambling addict. Investors who gave Sam hundreds of thousands of dollars didn’t realize that Sam was betting their money at the casinos.
Sam got out of Otisville in 2014 and got off probation in 2018. After Sam got off probation he started a new scam. He told investors he had inside deals to purchase pre-IPO shares of such companies as Uber. Sam invested almost a million dollars of investor’s IPO money in Atlantic City casinos. Sam lives in New Jersey. Sam got busted by the State of New Jersey’s Criminal Justice Division in December of 2019. Sam’s charges are still pending, although I couldn’t locate any criminal file on New Jersey’s criminal court website. Has Sam turned government witness? Is Sam cooperating with the Feds?
I was locked up with Sam back in 2014 in Otisville. There were many gambling addicts locked up in Otisville. Guys gambled in the prison. I was never a gambler. I watched the guys play cards on long tables with one guy assigned to keep track of all the betting. Guys bet on football games. Some guys wagered cans of tuna on backgammon games they played. In the summer guys wagered on bocci ball games. Every now and then a guy would squelch on a bet. The guy who got stiffed would chase the other guy around all day and scream at him. My bunkie squelched on a $10,000.00 bet. He had himself transferred to another prison. Guys came into our cubicle looking for money. The guards didn’t care if the guys gambled in the prison. The Warden once had a big meeting with the inmates and told everyone not to squelch on their gambling debts.
Sam was best friends with fellow Otisville inmate Helle Nahmad. Sam and Helle are both part of the closely knit Syrian Jewish community. Helle was a young billionaire playboy. Helle came from family money. The Nahmad family has numerous high end art galleries with the largest collection of Picasso paintings in the world. Helle was locked up for 6 months for running a high stakes sports betting operation. Helle’s co-conspirators were mostly Russians. They were caught operating their betting operation in luxury apartments located in the Trump Tower of all places. Helle owns an entire floor at the Trump Tower. Helle told me he paid $60 million to buy all the units on one floor and then knocked down the walls to create one apartment. The Trump Tower apartment is just one of the many properties Helle owns around the world. Helle is good friends with Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio also has a gambling problem. DiCaprio and Helle were both featured in the movie “Molly’s Game.” The character who played Helle was pathetic. The director of Molly’s Game obviously never met Helle. Helle is good looking, tall, confident and brash. Molly’s Game portrayed Helle as short, bald, and wimpy. The movie was right on point in its portrayal of the ravages of gambling. It was depressing to watch.
Sam tried to get his hooks in Helle when he was in Otisville. Sam even cried on the day he was released from Otisville and had to leave Helle. Sam would have stayed in prison longer to be close to Helle. Helle was out of Sam’s league. Sam was no millionaire, let alone a billionaire. Helle kept in touch with a few inmates after he left Otisville, but Helle wasn’t going to be used by anyone. Helle was too shrewd. Helle said that Otisville dried him out. Helle quit smoking, drinking and partying while he was locked up. Helle had a personal trainer at the prison gym. Helle is probably back to his old lifestyle. I actually felt bad for him. He didn’t seem happy for a young single guy with a billion bucks. He had no interest in marriage or raising a family. I guess a billion dollars doesn’t necessarily buy happiness.
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