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Inside The Mind Of A Financial Criminal

Aug 19, 2009

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On today's Planet Money:

Before Bernie Madoff, there was the Antar family. In the seventies and eighties, the family ran a popular electronics chain, Crazy Eddie, which was known for its frenetic commercials and low prices. The business was crooked from the start, but the fraud got more serious when the family took the company public in the 1984. Going public earned the Antar family millions of dollars, but infighting and jealousy later led them to turn against each other. In 1987, the Securities and Exchange Commission investigated the family and discovered years of inflated profits and overstated income.

Today one of the masterminds of the fraud, Eddie's cousin Sam Antar, explains how they did it and why it worked for so long. Antar now lectures about white collar fraud and says it's a brutal crime.

Bonus: Crazy Eddie wants you to beat the heat.

Download the podcast; or subscribe. Intro music: LL Cool J's "I Can't Live Without My Radio." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Flickr.

Remember, that's not Crazy Eddie. It's radio announcer Jerry Carroll, who had no part in the scam.

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