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Crazy Eddie Chain To Reopen

January 11, 1998

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) _ Relatives of convicted felon Eddie Antar said they plan to bring back the chain of electronic stores he founded that went bankrupt years ago after a massive stock fraud.

The first of the new Crazy Eddie stores is scheduled to open next month in Wayne, Sammy Antar, Eddie’s nephew, told The Home News Tribune of East Brunswick for Saturday’s editions. Other stores may open later.

The company will use the same company ad used by the original chain, WPI Advertising Inc. in New York, said WPI vice president Harry Spero. Spero said he would suggest using a similar campaign to capitalize on the chain’s name recognition in the Northeast. Sammy Antar would not reveal the name of the new company.

Eddie Antar, 50, built Crazy Eddie from a single store near his neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., in the late 1960s into the largest chain in the New York area, known for loud commercials in which a frenzied pitchman boasted of ``INSAAAAAAAANE″ prices. Until it went public in 1984, he owned two-thirds and his father owned the rest.

The empire collapsed in 1987 as shareholders and would-be corporate investors learned that Crazy Eddie’s rosy financial picture was wildly distorted. The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Eddie, his brothers and other family members of stealing money from the company and then boosting inventory and other figures to make it look like sales were surging.

Eddie Antar was ousted, and the last store closed two years later. He fled the country around February 1990 and has been in custody since his arrest in Israel in June 1992.

Eddie was sentenced in February to six years and 10 months in prison. With credit for 42 months of the time he has already served, he is to be released in 2000.

His brother, Mitchell, is also in prison, serving a 1 1/2-year sentence for his role in the plan.

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