Sunday, May 09, 2010

Straight Talk about Brutality of White Collar Crime from a Convicted Felon

Updated to include another interview

If you want to truly understand the brutal nature of white collar crime in all of its gory detail, please listen to my videotaped interview below that is featured on the Con Artist Hall of Infamy website (here). In part one and two of a series of chilling interviews with journalist Becca MacLaren, I discuss the basic tactics that white collar criminals use to exploit and scam their victims:
White collar criminals consider your humanity, ethics, and good intentions as a weakness to be exploited in the execution of their crimes.
White collar criminals measure their effectiveness by the comfort level of their victims.

White collar criminals build a wall of false integrity around them to gain the trust of their victims.
Sam Antar Interview, Part 1: The Rules of Criminality



Sam Antar Interview, Part 2: Humanity, or the lack thereof
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The Con Artist Hall of Infamy was founded by Warren Hellman and Arthur Rock, two billionaires with a fascination of white collar crime and a passion dedicated towards educating the public about the cold-blooded brutality of criminality.

The interview was videotaped last March during my visit to teach at Stanford Law and Business Schools. In future blog posts, I will show more video clips of my interview with Becca MacLaren on white collar crime.

Special thanks to the Con Artist Hall of Infamy and Stanford for inviting me to share my views on white collar crime.

Interviewed by "Fraud Girl" from Simoleon Sense Blog

Recently, I was contacted by a very bright forensic accounting blogger who writes under the pseudonym "Fraud Girl" for the Simoleon Sense blog, which is administered by another bright analyst and investigative blogger Miguel Barbosa. "Fraud Girl" wanted to know about my mindset as a forcibly "retired" criminal. A full transcript of the interview can be read here.

Here's a sample Q & A from the interview:
Question: How can people go acquire the experience to really understand financial criminals? Do courses help? Is it just real life experience? What will help forensic accountants get through it?

Answer: It’s a combination of both. For example, The Going Concern blog recently did a thing about what is takes to become a forensic accountant. The problem is before you even get to the skill set to be a good forensic accountant you need to get a double set of iron clad balls and triple thick skin because criminals fight back. We don’t play fair. We have no respect for you. We have no respect for your laws. We don’t have respect for your customs. In fact, your laws and customs make it easier for us to commit our crimes. It’s a paradox. The more humane the society is, the easier it is to commit the crimes. Humanity limits your behavior but it doesn’t limit our behavior because we’re immoral human beings.
[Snip]

Question: It’s a huge problem. The cases I’m looking into are getting bigger and are getting worse…

Answer: You’re seeing most of these cases now because of a faltering economy. If the economy were good you wouldn’t even have known who Harry Markopolos was. He would still be writing letters to the SEC and they would still be ignoring him.
Until society learns about the psychology of white collar crime and the tactics used by criminals to defraud their victims, society is doomed to be victimized over and over again by ruthless thugs like I was, as the criminal CFO of Crazy Eddie back in the day.

Special thanks to "Fraud Girl" and Miguel Barbosa for seeking my input on white collar crime.

Written by:

Sam E. Antar

Recommended Reading

Other interviews on white collar crime, here. and here.

Going Concern: Sam Antar at Stanford: Jr. Deputy Accountant Gets a Live Dose of the Criminal Mind by Adrienne Gonzalez

White Collar Fraud: The Real Reason Behind Danny DeVito’s Crazy Eddie Movie Project Meltdown from Eddie Antar’s Cousin and Criminal CFO Sam E. Antar

Disclosure

I am a convicted felon and a former CPA. As the criminal CFO of Crazy Eddie, I helped Eddie Antar and other members of his family mastermind one of the largest securities frauds uncovered during the 1980's. I committed my crimes in cold-blood for fun and profit, and simply because I could.

If it weren't for the efforts of the FBI, SEC, Postal Inspector's Office, US Attorney's Office, and class action plaintiff's lawyers who investigated, prosecuted, and sued me, I would still be the criminal CFO of Crazy Eddie today.

There is a saying, "It takes one to know one." Today, I work very closely with the FBI, IRS, SEC, Justice Department, and other federal and state law enforcement agencies in training them to identify and catch white-collar criminals.

Recently, I exposed financial reporting violations by Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) as an independent whistleblower.  The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Overstock.com and its CEO Patrick Byrne for securities law violations (Details here, and here).

My pro bono work for the federal government is a freebie to law enforcement in order to help get me into heaven, though I doubt that I will ever get there.

I do not seek or want forgiveness for my vicious crimes from my victims. Anything that I may do in helping law enforcement does not undo any of my heinous crimes. I plan on frying in hell with other white collar criminals for a very long time.

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