Friday, July 06, 2007

Advice to Richard A. Altomare (Universal Express) from a Convicted Felon: Cut the Bull

As cold blooded and heartless criminals, ‘Crazy’ Eddie Antar, his father Sam M. Antar, and I made up many tales to divert attention from our crimes. Eddie’s father tried to set up his own son, Eddie, to take the fall for his crimes. After Eddie Antar was dragged back into the United States by US Marshals, Eddie and father (now re-united against a common enemy, me, who had turned state’s witness), tried to blame the entire Crazy Eddie fraud on me. Before I began cooperating with the government, I used many excuses such as attributing our inventory shortages, (later uncovered when new management took an inventory and found a massive fraud), on anything from poor internal controls to shop lifting.

Recently, Senior New York Times Columnist, Floyd Norris has been following the actions of Richard A. Altomare from Universal Express. In a post on his blog entitled, "Naked Shorting Grows Ever Larger," (subscription required), Mr. Norris writes that Richard A. Altomare is a “the man who claims to be chief executive of Universal Express despite a court order barring him from serving as an officer of any public company….”

In a column entitled, "HIGH & LOW FINANCE; A Sad Tale Of Fictional S.E.C. Filings," (subscription required), Floyd Norris wrote:

In 2006, Universal lost $18.9 million on revenue of just $1.1 million. Mr. Altomare, acting as the sole member of Universal's board, gave himself a $50,000 raise, to $650,000 a year. The company also forgave part of $1.6 million in loans to Mr. Altomare and his wife. The cash to pay that salary came from the sale of unregistered stock.

In Mr. Altomare's view, the issues that bothered the judge are irrelevant. ''Long and short of it,'' he said in a statement issued by the company, ''this is a naked short hallmark case in the making.''

Eddie Antar and his immediate family used Crazy Eddie as a personal piggy bank, too. For example, Eddie Antar and his father, Sam M. Antar, put their wives on payroll for no-show jobs and gave them company cars to use.

In another column, entitled "S.E.C. Seeks Receiver for Universal Express, Calling It a Fraud," (subscription required), Floyd Norris wrote:

In its filing, the S.E.C. said, ''Universal Express has since 2001 existed primarily as a vehicle to flood unregistered stock into the public market at values fraudulently inflated by the dissemination of false and misleading statements'' and said the ''conduct is continuing unabated.''

Later, Mr. Norris writes:

The company...argued that it was being persecuted by the S.E.C. because Mr. Altomare had been a loud critic of the commission for not cracking down on ''naked short selling,'' the practice of selling shares without owning or borrowing them.

Excuses, excuses. Advice to Richard A. Altomare, from a convicted felon, when you can no longer spin, SHUT UP! The Securities and Exchange Commission is not buying into your nonsense and neither will a federal jury buy into it, too.

Read about spinning here.

Written by:

Sam E. Antar (former Crazy Eddie CFO & convicted felon)

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