Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Money Laundering Case Study: Eddie Antar

Money laundering is most often associated with drug dealers, illegal gambling and prostitution, and arms dealing. However, the majority of money laundering crimes handled by the experienced Miami criminal attorneys are more of the white-collar kind. Today we are looking at one of the most famous case studies in white collar money laundering, Eddie Antar.
Eddie Antar began the electronics chain that was to become known as Crazy Eddie's as ERS Electronics in 1971, and the famous radio commercial associated with the chain started in 1972. At the peak, the chain earned over $300 million in sales, with 43 stores in the chain.
Antar was the director of the company, and from the beginning was involved in illegal business practices. His criminal lawyers defended him against IRS violations including paying employees off the books; but his main white-collar crime was skimming money off the sales. It has been reported that around 1 in every 6 dollars was skimmed off the top of the chain. This reduced the amount of income tax the business had to pay, and Antar concocted an even more intricate money-making scheme later.
In 1987, Antar's criminal lawyers had to defend him against charges of violating federal securities laws, and the federal grand jury conducted an investigation into the warranty billing practices of the company. Apart from the income tax evasion, Eddie Antar also used the money he had skimmed off the chain's profits to feed back into the business under the guise of revenue. This would increase the company's stock price, which Eddie could then cash out in real money. The scheme is said to have netted him $40 million -- which of course he is now completely unable to spend.
For the major fraud he enlisted the help of his nephew, Sammy Antar, who had a degree in accounting. Various falsified paperwork items and other shady accounting practices helped artificially inflate revenue, and a network of offshore bank accounts helped initially disguise the profits.
This clear-cut case of enormous tax fraud, securities fraud and other assorted crimes was no match for Antar's criminal attorneys, who represented him to the best of their ability. He was sentenced to eight years in prison, and has $1 billion in judgements against him from various civil suits as well as $150 million in fines.


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