Eddie Antar, the man at the heart of the Crazy Eddie fraud scandal, has never really told his side of the story. He appeared briefly on a cable talk show with his cousin, Sam, a couple of years ago, but said little other than tacitly forgiving his former CFO for turning government witness in the case that sent Eddie and some other relatives to jail.
When Sam Antar recites the viduy list of sins in the Yom Kippur liturgy Monday, it will be a like a checklist of his past.
He has stolen. He has cheated. He has betrayed. He has caused others to sin.
And by his own admission, he loved every minute of it.
“I enjoyed committing my crimes, and I did it for fun and profit,” says the former chief financial officer of the Crazy Eddie electronics chain, who helped bilk customers, investors and the government out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Lashon Hara is one of the occupational hazards of this job.
It is not only religiously observant reporters who have to worry about being guilty of gossip but anyone with a conscience. Responsible journalism is about balancing the public’s need to know with the privacy of individuals, their right to make mistakes and above all, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
But what do you do with someone who says the most damaging things — about himself?