Former CPA and convicted felon to present at business ethics lecture

  • March 31, 2016

Sam E. Antar was the CFO of Crazy Eddie and helped mastermind one of the largest securities frauds uncovered during the 1980s. This convicted felon now advises federal and state law enforcement agencies and performs forensic accounting services. The Huffington Post recently named him as one of the 25 most feared financial reporters in the U.S.

Antar will present “The Black Art of White-Collar Crime” at the University of Northern Iowa at 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 10, in the Commons Ballroom as part of the David W. Wilson Chair in Business Ethics programming. The event is free and open to the public.

Craig VanSandt, holder of the David W. Wilson Chair in Business Ethics at UNI, says that bringing Antar to campus is a great, eye-opening opportunity for students and the community.

“Antar is a direct and potentially disquieting speaker, warning his audiences that white-collar crime is rampant in the United States, and that people must protect themselves from fraud,” he said.

A de-briefing session will be held at 6 p.m., Nov. 12, in Room 320 of the Curris Business Building at UNI to help students process Antar‘s message. Panelists for this session will include VanSandt, UNI Assistant Professor of Accounting Joel Pike, and Professor of Accounting at Augustana College and a Certified Fraud Examiner Pamela Druger.

This event is sponsored by the David W. Wilson Chair in Business Ethics with support from the UNI Department of Accounting and the UNI Center for Academic Ethics.

About Sam Antar

Antar started working in his cousin‘s electronics retailer business, Crazy Eddie, when he was 14. He studied accounting in college for the sole purpose of helping the company commit more sophisticated fraud than what was already taking place. Further, Antar earned his CPA in 1981 so that he could be the company‘s principal accounting officer after its initial public offering.

The company had a close, family-like culture and despite the many people they were hurting through their schemes – costing investors nearly $150 million – the employees were loyal to the company. However, after the investigation Antar cooperated with the government and civil litigants. He eventually pleaded guilty to three felonies and was sentenced to six months of house arrest, 1,200 hours of community service and paid approximately $10,000 in fines.

However, Antar writes, “There was no moral awakening that led me to cooperate with the Feds or my victims. I did a simple calculus and realized that my best possible outcome was to become a government witness and testify against my co-conspirators.”

He also said, “My cooperation with the government and others deserves no praise from them since I was only doing what was required of a felon who got caught and turned himself in – I told the truth. My sins are unforgiveable.”

More information about Antar and the Crazy Eddie scandal can be found at http://www.whitecollarfraud.com.

About the David W. Wilson Chair in Business Ethics

The David W. Wilson Chair was established through an endowed gift from university alumnus and Laguna Beach, California resident, David W. Wilson, president and owner of one of the largest privately owned automotive groups in the country. Wilson graduated from UNI in 1970 with a B.A. in Philosophy. His gift helps make ethics a focus of teaching and research at UNI and helps students recognize the value of ethics as a guide to decision-making in life and business.

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