Monday, May 14, 2007

Overstock.com and Patrick Byrne: The Deception Continues

The deception of Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, continues on Overstock.com’s web site, despite the company's surprise disclosure in its recent 10-Q, that Mr. Byrne received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 17, 2006, about a year ago.

I quote from a page on the Overstock.com web site entitled “Lawsuit (CEO’s Crusade)” about the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation:

Patrick and Business Journalists

Q: Was Overstock behind the SEC subpoenaing business journalists?

A: No.

Q: Has Overstock been subpoenaed?

A: Yes. We received a subpoena from the SEC on May 9, 2006. Prior to receiving the subpoena, we were already cooperating fully with various agencies, including the SEC.

Q: Is Overstock being investigated by the SEC or other agencies?

A: The SEC is conducting an investigation on Overstock.com (see previous question). We are not aware of other investigations by any other agencies.

Note: Bold and italic print was added by me.

I note that the subpoena Patrick Byrne received on May 17, 2006 is not disclosed on Overstock.com’s web site. The web site only refers to the subpoena Overstock.com received on May 9, 2006.

In addition, Overstock.com’s web site clearly plays down the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of the company. The company infers that the focus of the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation is not Overstock.com by stating that the “The SEC is conducting an investigation on Overstock.com” rather than stating that “The SEC is conducting an investigation of Overstock.com."

Responding to questions by certain business journalists on Overstock.com's web site, Patrick Byrne has purported that:

Here is the punch-line: as a matter of law I must tread carefully here, but I can say that the heart of the investigation is not, I would suggest, Overstock-centric, but rather, concerns itself with a strange set of relationships among ….. Well, let me just say that the irony here is just delicious.

Note: Bold and italic print was added by me.

Later, in a post (message #7271) on InvestorVillage.com, under his alias Hannibal, Patrick Byrne wrote:

"...the shills are now trying to make a case that I should have sent out a second press release when I received another addressed to me as a person, though it was a small fraction as long as the first, covered sub-issues of the first, as well as issues related to a broader investigation that is not about me or Overstock at all."

Note: Bold and italix print added by me

Patrick Byrne is apparently attempting to divert attention from the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of Overstock.com, by claiming it is "not...Overstock-centric" and the "broader investigation that is not about me [meaning him]or Overstock at all."

Written by,

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

Late Notes:

According to an SEC Form 4 report, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, on May 10, 2007 (right after Overstock.com's recent 10 -Q was filed), Board of Directors member Allison H. Abraham had disposed of 15,000 shares of stock in the company.

Tracy Coenen has new questions for Patrick Byrne based on an alleged insider's anonymous post on InvestorVillage.com.

Additional blog posts about Overstock.com's new disclosure of Patrick Byrne's subpoena:

May 9, 2007: Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, receives SEC subpoena

May 12, 2007: To Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, Stop Deflecting and Start Answering Questions

May 13, 2007: Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, Cannot Answer a Simple Question

Other blogs covering the Patrick Byrne subpoena:

The Fraudfiles blog: I have two question for Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com by Tracy Coenen

Gary Weiss: Bagdad Byrne's Weekend Delusion-a thon

The Fraudfiles blog: A little slight of hand by Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, by Tracy Coenen

Lee Distad's Professional Opinion: CEO "forgets" to tell investors that he's been subpoenaed by the SEC...for over a year!

Notions on High and Low Finance: A Conspiracy So Vast, by Floyd Norris (subscription required)

Herb Greenberg's Market Blog: Updated: SEC Subpoenas Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne

O-Smear Blog: The 1281 Word "No Comment"

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