Monday, July 30, 2007

Utah Companies that are engaged in Fraud Beware!

The D & O Diary blog, written by Kevin LaCroix, has a post entitled, "Tenth Circuit Takes a Look at D & O Policy Rescission" which covers a Tenth Circuit opinion on "whether misrepresentations in financial statements incorporated by reference in a D & O policy application could serve as a basis for policy rescission under Utah law."

In plain English, it means that your D & O carrier may rescind your policy if your company's financial statements and other items incorporated by reference in your insurance application contain material misstatements.

I suggest that Utah companies read Kevin LaCroix's blog post and the Tenth Circuit opinion very carefully.

It is time for D & O carriers to be proactive monitors of corporate governance. After all, in many cases insurance carriers foot the bill for corporate malfeasance. Kevin LaCroix covers this issue in a previous blog item entitled, "Why Aren’t D & O Insurers Better Corporate Governance Monitors?"

Written by,

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

Monday, July 23, 2007

Did Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, Deliver a Trojan Horse to the Securities and Exchange Commission?

In the Crazy Eddie fraud investigation they called it the Trojan horse diversion. My uncle Sam M. Antar (Eddie Antar's father) and his sons Mitchell and Allen, sent two former Crazy Eddie employees to lie to the Securities and Exchange Commission and cover-up their crimes in an attempt to make Eddie Antar and I take the fall. The Securities and Exchange Commission and later, the Justice Department, thought that they delivered the goods on the Crazy Eddie frauds on a silver platter. They thought the information was a gift. They were wrong. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department quickly learned about witnesses bearing false gifts.

Is a similar attempt being made by Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne? Did Patrick Byrne send a Trojan horse to the Securities and Exchange Commission in an attempt to take them off his trail?

In previous posts on this blog, I have detailed the vile and malicious smear campaign directed by Patrick Byrne and carried out by Judd Bagley and his cronies targeting Byrne's critics and just about anyone who stands in his way. Patrick Byrne's arsenal of fear seems to have no bounds. In posts on this blog, I have detailed the use of threats, blackmail, anti-Semitism, harassment, intimidation, smears, false accusations, deceptions, and lies carried out by Patrick Byrne and his cronies.

Another tool in Patrick Byrne's arsenal of fear is to bog down his perceived enemies such as Gradient Analytics (an independent research firm) and Rocker Patrners (a short seller) in costly litigation. Is Patrick Byrne attempting to send a message that critical thought about Overstock.com and his actions is off limits and will be met with severe retaliation?

As detailed in his blog, Patrick Byrne can be extremely ruthless as he vents out his vile baseless hatred on his perceived enemies. According to a Fortune Magazine article entitled, "Phantom Menace" by written by Bethany McLean:

Even in that successful year, there were signs that Byrne was remarkably thin-skinned. In the fall of 2004, I wrote a FORTUNE story titled "Is Overstock the Next Amazon?" After the piece came out, Byrne sent me an e-mail saying "Fair. And balanced." Two days later he wrote another e-mail: "I actually thought it was crap.... So, why exactly did you become a reporter? Giving Goldman traders blowjobs didn't work out?" Around that same time, after Gradient released another report questioning board members' independence, Byrne wrote to Vickrey: "Donn, you make a living toadying to bully hedge funds ... you deserve to be whipped, f--d, and driven from the land."

Note: Bold print, italics, and underlines added by me.

Overstock.com has sued Gradient Analytics and Rocker Partners alleging that Rocker had colluded with Gradient to write research reports disparaging Overstock.com in an effort to drive down its stock price. Gradient had written research reports critical of Overstock.com’s accounting policies, financial disclosures, corporate governance, and other issues. Rocker Partners is one of hundreds of customers who subscribed to Gradient's reports.

Overstock.com and Patrick Byrne claim that they have three former Gradient Analytics employees who can nail Gradient, Rocker Partners, and others. Demetrios Antifantis, Robert Ballash, and Darryl Smith, all former Gradient employees, have signed sworn affidavits alleging wrongdoing by Gradient and Rocker. Patrick Byrne claims that he has other witnesses, too.

According a recent comment posted by Patrick Byrne in the Conglomerate blog:

….what we have is a series of people who worked for a company who realized it was crooked. Three of them came forward and said to their boss, "We cannot do this anymore. This business model is completely illegal. This has to stop." A few days later they were fired. They brought their information to me, I investigated and found more employees with the same story, and I started a lawsuit.

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

According to a New York Post article entitled, “Affidavit Questions May Sap Overstock Case,” by Roddy Boyd, Demetrios Anifantis has claimed that he was fired after he asked questions about Rocker Partner’s influence on Gradient Analytic’s reports.

In another article entitled, “3 ex-workers of Gradient quizzed on Overstock,” by Karen Gullo and Demian McLean in the Deseret News, Robert Ballash and Darryl Smith have claimed that they were fired shortly after they asked questions about Rocker’s relationship with Gradient.

Gradient Analytics has alleged that Demetrios Anifantis, Robert Ballash, and Darryl Smith were fired for cause. According to the New York Post article, referred to above, Gradient Analytics claims that Mr. Antifantis had e-mailed their client list to his personal e-mail account. The Deseret News article, above, says that Demetrios Anifantis does not deny taking such work home. Gradient Analytics claims that Robert Ballash was fired for his collusion with Mr. Anifantis and that Darryl Smith was fired for poor performance.

Demetrios Anifantis and Robert Ballash were both fired on November 12, 2004. Darryl Smith was fired about a year earlier in October 2003. Mr. Anifantis had applied for unemployment benefits and his repeated requests for unemployment benefits were denied. He filed multiple appeals and they were denied. Did Robert Ballash and Darryl Smith ever file a request for unemployment benefits and receive such benefits after being fired by Gradient? If Ballash and Smith like Anifantis did not receive unemployment benefits, it can be inferred that they were fired for cause.

Were any of the allegations that Antifantis made in his later sworn affidavit disclosed by him to hearing officers during his repeated attempts to obtain employment benefits? If Anifantis had information about wrongdoing by Gradient, wouldn't he want to use it to counter charges that he was fired for cause?

If Anifantis did allege any wrongdoing by Gradient in his efforts to counter Gradient’s claims of firing him for cause, evidently the hearing officers at unemployment did not believe him.

According to the New York Post article, referred to above, in the months prior to being fired, Demetrios Anifantis and Robert Ballash sent e-mails back and forth joking about being fired. After sending a stern message to his supervisor, Ballash wrote Antifantis saying, “Hopefully they will fire me.” Did that e-mail message discuss any allegations of wrongdoing by Gradient?

Did any of those e-mails sent between Antifantis and Ballash discuss any wrongdoing by Gradient that appeared in their later affidavits? If such e-mails never discussed their allegations of wrongdoing by Gradient as alleged in their later affidavits, a person may reasonably ask if both Antifantis and Ballash concocted a story to get back at Gradient for firing them.

Patrick Byrne had been complaining about Gradient's research reports. Did Anifantis, Ballash, and Smith attempt to sell him a bill of goods?

Sometime between November 2004 and August 2005, the former Gradient employees made contact with Patrick Byrne. According to Bethany McLean's Fortune Magazine article (above):

That winter Byrne's worldview seemed to get darker. Instead of simply lashing out at critics, he implied that they were corrupt. For instance, on Feb. 15 he identified "Camelback, Greenberg, and other journalists" as people who "seem to go out and trash companies David Rocker is short.... How do I know this? Someone close (remarkably close!) to a guy mentioned above described it all to me, right down to the number of times per week phone calls are made amongst Donn [Vickrey], Herb [Greenberg, of Dow Jones Marketwatch], and David Rocker.... I am by no means suggesting that the remarkable coincidence of these journalists' attacks with Rocker's short positions means that they are on the take: There are many possible explanations for the coincidence (including, for example, that they could all be right, I COULD be a crook, and they all figured it out at the same time.)" Journalist Greenberg by that point had written a number of skeptical stories about Overstock. Byrne told Greenberg that one explanation for his skepticism could be that "you are on the take, and get paid off somewhere in order to do hatchet-jobs-to-order."

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

If Demetrios Anifantis had never mentioned any of his allegations in his later affidavit during his attempts to gain unemployment benfits, even after being in contact with Patrick Byrne, a person can reasonably ask if Anifantis was attempting to sell Byrne a bill of goods. Did Demetrios Anifantis and Patrick Byrne discuss the status of Antifantis's claims for unemployment benefits? Hopefully, one day the full record of conversations between Byrne and Anifantis will be made public.

On January 28, 2005, things got really strange at Overstock.com's earnings conference call. According to Bethany McLean's Fortune Magazine article (above):

Then...came the first truly weird moment. That was the conference call Overstock.com held at 8:30 A.M. on Jan. 28 to discuss its year-end results. At the end of the Q&A, a guy who gave his name as Bob O'Brien came on the line. "You, probably, the name is not familiar," he began. He went on to say, "I think I can explain what is going on with your stock and basically why so many people are saying mean things about you," and proceeded to outline a plot of what he called "criminal manipulation, allusions, fraud, libel"--and something called "naked shorting." At the end of O'Brien's speech, Byrne said, "I buy toasters and sell toasters ... I don't know any of the stuff you are talking about."

Everything about Bob O'Brien's performance was odd. First, you don't often hear outsiders spouting off about conspiracy theories on company conference calls. Second, Byrne and O'Brien seemed not to know each other....And third, Bob O'Brien's name is not actually Bob O'Brien. He claims he has to remain anonymous because of threats to his safety. The New York Post has published a story saying it believes he is one Phillip Saunders, a small-business man who would be utterly uninteresting were it not for his cloak of anonymity and his baroque theories....

A critical part of the conspiracy O'Brien outlined is something called "naked shorting,"....

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

During the conference call, Patrick Byrne implied that the Securities and Exchange Commission is a "captured regulator." Afterwards, it was discovered that Patrick Byrne had orchestated Saunder's aka O'Brien's weird staged appearance during the Overstock.com conference call. Byrne later admitted to having been in contact with Saunders aka O'Brien since October 2004.

On August 9, 2005, both Robert Ballash and Darryl Smith signed sworn affidavits alleging wrongdoing by Gradient. Did Demetrios Anifantis also sign a sworn affidavit on August 9, the same day that Robert Ballash and Darryl Smith signed their sworn affidavits? We don’t know. Demetrios Anifantis signed his “Restated and Revised” sworn affidavit on September 1, 2005.

On August 11, 2005, Overstock.com sued Gradient Analytics and Rocker Partners charging that they were in collusion to write disparaging research reports about the company. Patrick Byrne was armed with at least two or maybe three sworn affidavits by former Gradient employees.

On August 12, 2005, Patrick Byrne spoke about a vast financial conspiracy involving a person he identified as the “Sith Lord” in his widely mocked and infamous webcast. Mr. Byrne to this day has not identified who is the so-called “Sith Lord.” Many people believe that the so-called Sith Lord is a delusional paranoid fantasty created in Patrick Byrne’s mind.

In an article in the The Register entitled, "The Bizarre World of Patrick Byrne's Overstock," Ashlee Vance wrote about Byrne's behavior:

Take Overstock, whose CEO Patrick Byrne has held calls with financial analysts in which he delved into his sexuality and experiences with cocaine, in the midst of a tirade on how a cabal led by a "Sith Lord" was out to destroy his company.

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

Bethany McLean wrote in her Fortune Magazine article (above):

Byrne's behavior has been so over the top that it would be tempting to dismiss it as a paranoid fantasy. Can you imagine the CEO of another company making a conference call like Byrne's without being sent packing by his directors?

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

According to a Dow Jones News Wire article entitled, “Overstock Faces SEC Probe, Details Short-Selling Lawsuit,” (subscription required) by Carol S. Remond, Patrick Byrne had disclosed at the conference call that the Securities and Exchange Commission had begun an informal inquiry of Overstock.com about six months earlier in February 2005:

Overstock.com President Patrick Byrne said in a conference call Friday that the Securities and Exchange Commission began an informal inquiry into the company in February…..

Mr. Byrne said in the conference call that the SEC was pushed into starting an inquiry into his company. He didn't give details about the nature of the inquiry or say whether it is still ongoing.

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

During the August 12, 2005 conference call, Patrick Byrne had claimed that he was the victim of a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry pushed by short sellers and others who had targeted him and his company:

And I’ll just fill in a couple of more squares. Well, the SEC, I’ve told you that there were pushed to start an informal investigation on me back in, I think it started in February and the DOJ….

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

It is apparent from Byrne's remarks that the Securities and Exchange Commission started an inquiry of Overstock.com in February 2005 (six months prior to Overstock.com’s law suit against Gradient Analytics and Rocker Partners). He knew that that the SEC was on his trail. Did the SEC suspect accounting irregularities by Overstock.com? Gradient’s reports had questioned Overstock.com’s accounting policies and financial disclosures. Did Overstock.com attempt to retaliate against Gradient for its independent research by filing its law suit? Was Overstock.com's law suit against Gradient a desparate attempt by Patrick Byrne to throw the SEC off his trail?

On August 29, 2005, Patrick Byrne brought his campaign of deflection and smears to the Motley Fool message board (subscription only) for Overstock.com. In his first message posted on the Motely Fool message board Patrick Byrne wrote:

I can COMPLETELY understand why some would look at my behavior and think it whacko: it is not as though the possibility never occurs to me before I do something weird.

Note: Bold print, italics, and underlines added by me.

On September 1, 2005, Demetrios Anifantis signed a “Restated and Revised” sworn declaration alleging wrongdoing by Gradient Analytics and Rocker Partners. Why was his sworn affidavit revised? Where are the other copies?

Overstock.com had leaked Anifantis’s earlier affidavit to the press. Certain publications after reading affidavits found major inconsistencies. Only Anifantis’s “restated and revised” affidavit can be found on Overstock.com’s web site. Did the earlier affidavit contain mistakes that would hurt Anifantis’s credibility?

On September 26, 2005, Roddy Boyd had written in his New York Post article, referred to above, that:

The affidavits of three ex-employees of research firm Gradient Analytics that are the centerpiece of Overstock.com's legal battle with short sellers may be tainted beyond effective use for the embattled Internet firm.

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

On October 28, 2005, The Deseret News article (above) disclosed that Anifantis, Ballash, and Smith were questioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission about their allegations against Gradient and Rocker contained in their sworn affidavits. Shortly thereafter, the Securities and Exchange Commission began a probe of Gradient Analytics.

On February 7, 2006, the Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenaed three financial journalists who Patrick Byrne had accused as being in collusion with short sellers to drive down Overstock.com’s stock price. The three journalists who received subpoenas were Herb Greenberg (CNBC contributor, Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch columnist) Carol Remond (Dow Jones News Wire writer) and Jim Cramer (CNBC Contributor and co-founder of TheStreet.com). All of the three financial journalists have been the subject of intimidation, harassment, disparaging attacks, smears, and ridicule by Patrick Byrne and his cronies.

Three days later, on February 10, 2006, before the news of the subpoenas had become public, Patrick Byrne sent the an e-mail taunting Herb Greenberg. In his blog, Herb Greenberg wrote:

....On Feb. 10 of last year, three days after the SEC subpoenaed several members of the press in connection with the investigation -- but weeks before I ever made my subpoena public -- I received this email from Overstock (ostk) CEO Patrick Byrne:

Dear Herb,

I write in the spirit of our little sideline chats of the past. If you are not open to this, let me know.

I am just sitting here with a glass of wine in my hands, reflecting on what a really bad week you and your friends have had. The last two days in particular will likely prove to have been life-ruining events for certain people. As I take a sip, I find myself curious: do you guys know? Are you sitting somewhere, blithely oblivious, still chuckling about Whacky Patty, and all that? Or do you understand now that this is going to end badly for you? The signs are that you guys do understand, as some of your cronies are starting to make desperate-seeming mistakes. Do you understand what is happening in your world? How do you rationalize it? How do you tell yourselves it will work out? Do you ask yourself if you should have done something differently? I don't suppose you would tell me what it feels like: even were you in a panic, you'd probably write something like, 'Anything you say Patrick!' But you guys cannot be completely oblivious about the meetings that are going on, the questions that are being asked, the documents being drafted, the stories that are being told, the people who are listening. Someday people will be asking you what it felt like, to be where you fellows are now, and I am mildly curious to know: I hope you record the thoughts for posterity, if only as a cautionary tale. And if you would care to send me a letter, I would keep it private if you so desire.

Who knows, I might even be in a position to do you a favor someday.

Call anytime.

Patrick

Note: Bold print, italics, and underlines added by me.

Despite the above taunting e-mail sent to Herb Greenberg before his SEC subpoena was made public, Patrick Byrne claimed that he had "not orchestrated the SEC investigation." According to a Boston Globe article entitled, "Overstock not behind SEC probe of Journalists, "Byrne acknowledged speaking to SEC officials about the probe, but dismissed the notion that the subpoenas were related to a lawsuit Overstock filed in August against hedge fund Rocker Partners and research firm Gradient Analytics.

The Securities and Exchange Commission later dropped their subpoenas of the three financial journalists.

On May 9, 2006, the Securities and Exchange Commission began a formal investigation of Overstock.com. They subpoenaed a broad range of documents. According to Overstock.com’s 8-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission:

On May 9, 2006 the Company issued a press release regarding its receipt of a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission, Salt Lake City District Office. The subpoena requests a broad range of documents, including, among other documents, all documents relating to the Company’s accounting policies, the Company’s targets, projections or estimates related to financial performance, the Company’s recent restatement of its financial statements, the filing of its complaint against Gradient Analytics, Inc., the development and implementation of certain new technology systems and disclosures of progress and problems with those systems, communications with and regarding investment analysts, communications regarding shareholders who did not receive the Company’s proxy statement in April 2006, communications with certain shareholders, and communications regarding short selling, naked short selling, purchases and sales of Company stock, obtaining paper certificates, and stock loan or borrow of Company shares.

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

The information requested by the Securities and Exchange Commission in its subpoena to Overstock.com involved many of the same issues about its accounting policies and financial disclosures raised in Gradient's reports.

In a press release issued by Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne claimed:

I may be the first CEO in history to celebrate receiving an SEC subpoena. Some of the requests suggest the whispering of the blackguards, but I remain unconcerned about their hokum.

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

While Patrick Byrne claimed to have celebrated receiving the SEC subpoena, he was clearly suspicious of the SEC’s intentions when he claimed that “Some of the requests suggest the whispering of the blackguards.”

Patrick Byrne had previously claimed during the infamous August 12, 2005 Sith Lord conference call that the SEC was targeting him at the behest of certain short sellers. However, his later statements imply that he and Overstock.com are not the targets of the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation.

Overstock.com’s web site ambiguously and deceptively states:

The SEC is conducting an investigation on Overstock.com….

Note: Bold print, italics, and underlines added by me.

A more appropriate disclosure would be, “The SEC is conducting an investigation of Overstock.com.”

On May 10, 2006, an embittered Patrick Byrne upset over the dissent and criticism by other message board participants to his smears and diversion campaign on the Motley Fool message boards, posts his last message there.

On May 17, 2006, Patrick Byrne received a separate subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, he failed to disclose his subpoena until almost a year later on May 9, 2007, in Overstock.com’s 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He made no press release celebrating his receipt of a separate subpoena unlike his celebration of the initial subpoena that Overstock.com had received.

On June 28, 2006, Demetrios Anifantis testified in a Senate hearing regarding his allegations of wrongdoing by Gradient Analytics but fails to mention Rocker Partners.

However, Herb Greenberg noted in a blog post entitled, “More Questions about a Key Witness,” that:

How independent is Anifantis? Did he write and/or edit his own testimony? If not, who did? For a clue, look no further than a copy of the transcript he provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee, a copy of which I’ve obtained. Scroll down the “file” menu at the top of the “Word” document to “properties.” Click on “summary.” It says the author of the report is “mgriffin.” Company: “Overstock.”

Who is “mgriffin”? Hard to say, for sure, but one attorney representing Overstock is Mark Griffin, the former director of the Utah Securities division. Why is “mgriffin” of “Overstock” named as author of the report?

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

Did Patrick Byrne attempt to throw the Securities and Exchange Commission off his trail? Why would Overstock.com and not Anifantis’s attorney help prepare him for such testimony? Was Anifantis coached by Overstock.com?

In an update to his blog post, Herb Greenberg wrote:

Update: Dow Jones out with a report quoting Byrne as saying Griffin is a lawyer who represented Anifantis and joined Overstock last week as its new general counsel. Oh, really? Why, then, didn't Byrne didn't tell me that last night? (Ah, forgot, he had to go to bed.) Further questions include: Who is paying Anifantis' legal bills? Why does the "Word" document mention Overstock as the company? Did Griffin provide his services free? If so, why? Has Anifantis received any compensation from Overstock? Did Griffin provide any of his services to Anifantis while he was employed by Overstock? If so, is that a conflict? If not, why not.

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

While Mark Griffin was not Overstock.com's General Counsel, he was hired by Overstock.com to handle its litigation. Apparently, in a highly unusual move, Overstock.com hired Demetrios Anifantis’s attorney, Mark Griffin to conduct litigation after Anifantis provided them with sworn affidavits alleging wrongdoing by Gradient.

On July 22, 2006, Patrick Byrne started posting messages on InvestorVillage’s Overstock.com message board. His Director of Communications, Judd Bagley, hired by Patrick Byrne in August 2006, joined in the fight, too. Patrick Byrne's intentions were made loud and clear by him:

I'm not even winded, but my opponents have just gotten a small taste of what is in store for them. I plan on doing these guys slow.

Note: Bold print, italics, and underlines added by me.

From September 8, 2006 to January 2, 2007, Judd Bagley (Director of Communications at Overstock.com) anonymously administered the antisocialmedia.net smear web site on behalf of Patrick Byrne. Using the anonymous antisocialmedia.net smear web site as a platform, Judd Bagley ruthlessly attacked Patrick Byrne’s critics and permitted physical threats to be posted there directed at Byrne’s perceived enemies. Simultaneously, Judd Bagley posted anonymous messages on InvestorVillage using the alias antisocialmedia and others in support of his boss, Patrick Byrne.

Note: For additional information regarding Patrick Byrne, Judd Bagley, and other person's acting in collusion with them on the internet, please visit the O-Smear blog.

On January 2, 2007, New York Post reporter, Roddy Boyd exposed Judd Bagley’s activities. After, his exposure by Roddy Boyd, Judd Bagley continued to post on InvestorVillage operating as a tag team with Patrick Byrne under his new alias De Daumier-Smith. In addition, Judd Bagley continued to administer the antisocialmedia.net web site on behalf of Patrick Byrne. This time, Judd Bagley had identified himself as posting under De Daumier-Smith and now claimed that his use that alias to support his boss Patrick Byrne was part of his activities relating to the antisocialmedia.net smear web site.

On InvestorVillage, Judd Bagley defined Patrick Byrne’s smear campaign of deflection, writing “…this fight is about public perception.” Judd Bagley had used the term “public perception” many times to define Patrick Byrne’s battle against critics. Judd Bagley, using his alias De Daumier-Smith on InvestorVillage, wrote the following about another favorite Byrne target:

….we now have the first independent confirmation of the role of the DTCC in this public perception battle.

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

On February 14, 2007, the Securities and Exchange Commission dropped its investigation of Gradient but continued its investigation of Overstock.com and Patrick Byrne.

The Securities and Exchange Commission probably took sworn depositions of Anifantis, Ballash, Smith and other witnesses that Patrick Byrne claims to allege wrongdoing by Gradient and Rocker. We can be quite sure that the Securities and Exchange Commission took depositions of other Gradient personnel and persons who worked for Rocker Partners. In addition, the Securities and Exchange Commission probably subpoenaed and carefully examined thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, or even over a million documents provided by Overstock.com, Gradient Analytics, Rocker Partners, and others before dropping its probe of Gradient. However, despite its dropping of its investigation of Gradient, the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of Overstock.com still continues.

Did the SEC believe the allegations of Demetrios Anifantis, Robert Ballash, and Darryl Smith? Did the SEC believe the allegations of possibly other witnesses? It appears that the SEC did not find any allegations of witnesses of wrongdoing by Gradient and Rocker credible.

On March 9, 2007, Overstock.com released its 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2006. It has been noted on this blog and award winning forensic accounting expert Tracy Coenen’s Fraudfiles Blog that Overstock.com’s inventory reserves quadrupled from 6.1% of total inventory to 24.5%. Later, in its 10-Q for the first quarter of fiscal year 2007, inventory reserves leaped again from 24.5% of total inventory to 28%. Was over 25% of Overstock.com’s inventory junk or is the company’s being over-reaching in its reserves because of the continuing SEC investigation?

In that same 10-Q released on May 9, 2007, as stated above, Overstock.com finally disclosed after almost an entire year that Patrick Byrne had received a separate subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission. We need to ask, why did Overstock.com wait a year to disclose Patrick Byrne's subpoena and why did they choose to disclose it then?

A day after Patrick Byrne’s separate subpoena was disclosed in Overstock.com’s 10-Q, Mr. Byrne claimed that he was not the target of a Securities and Exchange Commission probe. Previously, on August 12, 2005 (above) Patrick Byrne had claimed that the SEC was “pushed to start an informal investigation” of him. Despite the fact that the SEC began a formal investigation of Overstock.com on May 9, 2006 and the fact that he received a separate subpoena on May 17, 2006 which went undisclosed for almost an entire year, Patrick Byrne claimed:

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 print and italics added by me.

Instead of providing straight honest answers to questions about the delay in reporting his subpoena, Patrick Byrne and his crony Judd Bagley (Director of Communications at Overstock.com) attacked journalists and others who raised such questions. Both Patrick Byrne (using his alias Hannibal) and Judd Bagley (using his alias De Daumier-Smith) operating as a tag team went to the InvestorVillage message boards and posted a flurry of messages in an effort to deflect criticism and inquiry about the year late disclosure of his subpoena.

Recently, both Patrick Byrne and Judd Bagley have claimed that they will stop posting on internet message boards. Anti-Semitic comments, physical threats, smears, and false accusations directed at Patrick Byrne’s critics by people commenting on Overstock.com’s antisocialmedia.net web site have been grudgingly deleted. However, many smears posted on antisocialmedia.net by Overstock.com’s Director of Communications, Judd Bagley remain published on the smear web site.

Patrick Byrne continues to use Overstock.com’s web site to smear his critics and parts of his campaign to intimidate and harass critics seem to be going underground. Certain small baby steps taken by Patrick Byrne and his cronies seem to be the result of pressure by newly appointed Board member Joseph J. Tabacco. Is Overstock.com worried about the possibility that a Wells Notice may be coming from the Securities and Exchange Commission?

Overstock.com is still pushing forward its litigation against Gradient Analytics and Rocker Partners despite the Securities and Exchange Commission finding of no wrongdoing by them. Unless Gradient and Rocker succeed in getting the case dismissed on appeal, the discovery process will soon begin. While Patrick Byrne appears hopeful he should understand that discovery is a two way street. Gradient and Rocker have already provided discovery to the SEC only to be cleared of any wrongdoing. Now, Patrick Byrne will have to face his perceived enemies in a witness chair.

Written by,

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

Other bloggers covering Overstock.com

Gary Weiss

Jeff Matthews

Floyd Norris

Monday, July 16, 2007

Patrick Byrne (CEO of Overstock.com) deceives the New York Times about his activities on internet message boards

In previous posts on this blog, I have detailed Patrick Byrne's vile and malicious smear campaign directed by him against his critics. His deceptions continue according comments he made in a recent interview with the New York Times.

Recently, John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, has come under fire because of his anonymous posting on internet message boards. Using the anonymous alias Rahodeb, Mr. Mackey assailed his competitors and promoted his company. According to a recent New York Times article entitled, "The Hand That Controls the Sock Puppet Could Get Slapped," (subscription required) by Brad Stone and Matt Richtel:

Patrick M. Byrne, founder and chief executive of the beleaguered online retailer Overstock.com, has for years been accused of anonymously resorting to the Internet to do battle with his company's critics. In an interview, Mr. Byrne said that he never hides his true identity and always signs his name when he posts under his online handle, "Hannibal" (the Carthaginian conqueror, not the celluloid serial killer).

Mr. Byrne said he uses online forums to convey what he has learned about the hidden agendas of his critics. "Nothing about being a public figure compels one to surrender one's First Amendment rights," he said.

Note: Cap letters and italics added by me.

While Patrick Byrne claims that he does not post anonymously, he certainly does not make it easy to identify his posts on internet message boards

The blogger known by his pen name Scipio Africanus (O-Smear Blog), who Byrne's cronies Judd Bagley and Evren Karpak attempted to blackmail, wrote the following comment to a post on Herb Greenberg’s Market Blog entitled, "Updated: Whole Foods' Fiasco: What Do CEO Mackey and Patrick Byrne Share in Common?"

It's not as easy to discern who Hannibal is as Overstock PR proxy Evren would like you to believe.

Here are the stats on how Patrick Byrne has signed his "Hannibal" posts on InvestorVillage:

  • 1 signed as Patrick Byrne, CEO
  • 3 signed as Patrick Byrne
  • 57 signed as Patrick
  • 34 unsigned

The user profile is private and gives no clues. A similar (if not worse) scenario exists on the Motley Fool, although I do not have accurate stats from there.

Note: Bold Print and italics added by me.

I once asked Patrick Byrne to sign his full name to posts on InvestorVillage and was later booted for asking him "deposition style" questions

On January 29, 2007, in a post (message number 4166), on InvestorVillage, I asked Patrick Byrne to clear up the confusion:

Hannibal:

Can you please sign your post with your full name so there is no misunderstanding as to who is replying?

Patrick Byrne (CEO of Overstock.com) uses the handle Hannibal. Let's clear up any misunderstanding as to who is responding.

Respectfully,

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

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

Patrick Byrne chose not to reply to the above question. Later, he complained (message number 4463) that I was acting as a “Junior Prosecutor" and asked other message board readers to ignore me:

Is there anyone here who suspects that Sam is just trying to clog, or waste my time, or misdirect this discussion board? If you agree, please recommend this post. If we get over 20, I say that is proof that it is time we all agree to ignore Sam forever.

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

About three weeks later, I was booted from InvestorVillage for asking "deposition style" questions to Patrick Byrne and his cronies Judd Bagley (Director of Communications at Overstock.com), and antisocialmedia.net smear web contributor, Evren Karpak.

Patrick Byrne failed to mention that his henchman, Judd Bagley, Director of Communications at Overstock.com and administrator of Overstock.com's antisocialmedia.net smear web site, has used multiple anonymous aliases on internet message boards with his approval to threaten, intimidate, harass, blackmail, and smear his critics

Another part of the New York Times article states:

Other chief executives have found their sock puppetry coming back to haunt them. At the criminal fraud trial of Hollinger International's chief executive, Conrad M. Black, prosecutors introduced evidence that the former press baron had once proposed joining a Yahoo Finance chat room to blame short sellers for his company's stock performance.

Patrick Byrne apparently believes that if he uses proxies such as Judd Bagley to threaten, harass, intimidate, blackmail, smear, and resort to anti-Semitism in an attempt to silence his critics, he can escape the long arm of the law.

Patrick Byrne has blamed almost everyone and everything but himself for the decline in his stock. He has permitted his Director of Communications, Judd Bagley, to post under multiple anonymous aliases on internet message boards that cover Overstock.com.

According the Scipio Africanus (O-Smear blog), in a blog post entitled, "Bagley and/or cohort psuedonyms," Judd Bagley has used over a dozen of anonymous aliases to intimidate, harass, threaten, blackmail, and/or smear critics of his boss, Patrick Byrne.

On January 28, 2007, I asked Judd Bagley on InvestorVillage (message number 4135) the following question about his use of anonymous aliases:

Can you provide such a list of all such aliases and all communications you have made under such aliases?

On Monday, January 29, 2007, at 2:08 PM local time, during normal office hours at Overstock.com, an angry Patrick Byrne replied (message number 4165) on behalf of Judd Bagley:

I BET HE COULD, BUT I WOULD TELL HIM I WOULD ADVISE HIM NOT TO DO SO.

Note: Patrick Byrne wrote his response in cap letters.

Patrick Byrne has approved anonymous posting on internet message boards relating to Overstock.com by his Director of Communications, Judd Bagley.

On January 29, 2007, in a post (message number 4177) on InvestorVillage, I asked by Patrick Byrne and Judd Bagley the following question:

Do you believe that the use of anonymous handles by you (Patrick Byrne or Judd Bagley) to attack non- anonymous critics of either you Patrick Byrne, Judd Bagley, or performance of Overstock.com is ethical?

That same day, Patrick Byrne replied to me (message number 4179) on InvestorVillage, using his alias Hannibal:

By way of general response, I will mentioned that I am proud of both mine and Judd's behavior ....

That will have to do.

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

Recently, on Overstock.com's web site, Patrick Byrne wrote:

What is the limit of what is appropriate when it comes to executives going online?

Some obvious points first: I think the Achilles heel of the Internet is anonymity. People behave in an uncivilized fashion when they are anonymous, but when they are stripped of anonymity, those same people begin behaving politely.

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

Patrick Byrne fails to mention that Judd Bagley ran the antisocialmedia.net smear web site on his behalf from its inception on September 8, 2006 to January 2, 2007 until Roddy Boyd exposed them in a New York Post article entitled, "Overstock.com Lashes out at Critics on Web."

In addition, Patrick Byrne writes:

Second, no executive (or for that matter, any employee) should ever go online to talk up her own company’s stock or try to bash a competitor’s stock price.

I guess that Patrick Byrne is delusional if believes that his own distortions and smears of critics carried out by him and his cronies, Judd Bagley and Evren Karpak, on his behalf is not the same as bashing a competitor. I believe that the Securities and Exchange Commission, who is investigating Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne, and others sees it differently.

Written by,

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

Additional Coverage in other Blogs

Gary Weiss Blog - Today's Patrick Byrne Lie Du Jour

FRAUDfiles Blog - Patrick Byrne lies to New York Times about message board postings by Tracy Coenen

IP & Democracy - How Many Sock Puppets Are Out There? by Cynthia Brumfield

FRAUDfiles Blog - The SEC cares when CEOs post on message boards using pseudonyms???? by Tracy Coenen

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Crazy Eddie Movie

Today the New York Post had an article about a possible Crazy Eddie movie. According to a New York Post Page Six article:

THE life and times of home electronics peddler "Crazy Eddie" Antar may soon become a major movie, thanks to Danny DeVito and his Jersey Films.

DeVito and several other producers are hot for Antar's story after recently seeing him on CNBC being confronted by his cousin, Sam Antar, whose testimony sent Eddie to federal prison for 7½ years.

There are rumors that my cousin Eddie Antar has been attempting to cash in and sell his story. What I have to say about Crazy Eddie is not for sale.

I am not involved in any movie project relating to Crazy Eddie. I have lived a shameful life filled with ugly, vile, malicious, and evil criminal acts. I do not have any desire to peddle my story about Crazy Eddie and make money off the backs of my countless victims.

Respectfully,

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

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, Continues his Ugly Campaign of Menace

Patrick Byrne has been carrying out his personal vendettas through a smear campaign of lies, distortions, false accusations, innuendos, threats, blackmail, and anti-Semitism on his antisocialmedia.net smear web site, internet message boards, blogs, and Overstock.com's web site. In particular, Patrick Byrne has used his antisocialmedia.net smear web site, administered by his henchman, Judd Bagley, Director of Communications at Overstock.com, and the InvestorVillage Overstock.com message board to carry out his campaign to silence and discredit his critics by continual harassment, intimidation, and smears.

Judd Bagley has colluded with other persons such as Evren Karpak (a contributor to antisocialmedia.net and Overstock.com shareholder) to intimidate critics with threats, blackmail, and smears. In addition, Judd Bagley has colluded with the delusional Edward Manfredonia (an overt anti-Semite and Judd Bagley's admitted advisor), to use anti-Semitism, false accusations, innuendo and smears to harass critics of Patrick Byrne. Judd Bagley's, Evren Karpak's, and Edward Manfredonia's efforts have received the encouragement, endorsement, and support of Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne.

Many journalists and bloggers have followed Patrick Byrne's self styled "Jihad" of harassment, intimidation, threats, blackmail, and smears against his critics on the internet and else where. I have written extensively about about Patrick Byrne's "Jihad" against critics in this blog. I have pursued Patrick Byrne and his cronies with "deposition style questions" on InvestorVillage only to get kicked off as Patrick Byrne orchestrated a campaign to silence me.

Other journalists, bloggers, independent financial analysts, and I have documented Patrick Byrne's vendettas against his critics and deceptive statements regarding Overstock.com's financial disclosures. These efforts have resulted in a combination of intimidation, harassment, threats, blackmail, litigation, smears, anti-Semitic comments, false accusations, and innuendos directed at people who dare to expose Patrick Byrne's activities. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne, and others for possible violations of securities laws.

Patrick Byrne's vile and malicious smear campaign against his critics is a violation of Overstock.com's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. Patrick Byrne's vile and malicious actions are in effect waivers or implicit waivers from Overstock.com's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and are required by the company to be disclosed in Form 8-K to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Apparently, Overstock.com has not complied with that requirement.

Baby steps have been taken by Overstock.com's Board to reign in Patrick Byrne, since the appointment of Joseph J. Tabacco to Overstock.com's Board of Directors on June 6, 2007. However, make no mistake about it, Patrick Byrne is a tyrant and a bully CEO unable to handle exposure of his deceptions and smears. His vile efforts in concert with others to deflect from his evil actions still continue.

I call on the following independent members of Overstock.com's Board of Directors, Allison H. Abraham, Clay Corbus, and Joseph J. Tabacco to take steps to fire Patrick Byrne and his Director of Communications, Judd Bagley. Overstock.com General Counsel Jonathan Johnson who has apparently stood idly by as Patrick Byrne and Judd Bagley have engaged in rampant acts in violation of Overstock.com's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics should be fired, too. Do the independent Board members wish to be associated with the vile and malicious smears and anti-Semitism used by Patrick Byrne, Judd Bagley and their cronies to silence critics? Do they approve of the actions of their evil CEO, Patrick Byrne? So far, their efforts have been piece meal and inadequate to rein him in.

If Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne, Judd Bagley believe that my actions constitute libel, then sue me. I welcome the subpoena power that comes from discovery that goes both ways. Truth is always a defense.

Under pressure as a result of the fallout from his activities Patrick Byrne is now consolidating his smear campaign against critics on Overstock.com's web site

Retreating from the fallout he has received resulting from his posts on internet message boards in furtherance of his vendettas against critics, Patrick Byrne will no longer be posting any new messages on them. However, he apparently will continue to smear his critics by posting on his home turf, Overstock.com's web site.

On July 6, 2007, in a bitter and rambling response (message number 8555) to a post on InvestorVillage by his antisocialmedia.net smear web site contributor and Overstock.com shareholder, Evren Karpak, a defiant Patrick Byrne sounded somewhat delusional about the inquiries that he received from his own Board of Directors and the Securities and Exchange Commission into his activities and the activities of his cronies acting in concert with him on stock message boards.

For example, Patrick Byrne wrote:
Re: Hannibal has left the building
....And no, this decision was completely my own. As always, the bad guys display their total misunderstanding of reality: no one has brought the least pressure on me about my posting here (well, other than by a certain polite and proper government official, who politely and properly asked me why I post on message boards: I politely noted that the first amendment applies to me, too). And no, no one on this end cares a whit about the lengthy posts and laughable emails sent over and over to the board of directors in a fashion so laughable they dispel any doubt as to the clownishness of their author. They are serious people, they know the system is corrupt, and the incessant deposition-style posts and emails from a "hobbyist" (coupled with the cronyism from guys like Herb) are just additional proof of what I have been saying. As if further proof were needed at this point....
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
However, Patrick Byrne has minimized and belittled the impact my activities and other persons to stop his ugly actions by our alerting his Board of Directors and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Patrick Byrne claims that "no one on this end cares a whit about the lengthy posts and laughable emails sent over and over to the board of directors in a fashion so laughable they dispel any doubt as to the clownishness of their author." We must ask, is Patrick Byrne lying or does Overstock.com's Board of Directors consider his vendettas against his critics a joke? In his post, Patrick Byrne claimed that he was in San Francisco. Two outside directors, Joseph J. Tabacco Jr, and Clay Corbus have their offices there. Did Patrick Byrne meet Mr. Tabacco and Mr. Corbus in San Francisco?

Patrick Byrne claims that Overstock.com's Board of Directors does not care about information related to his open violation of the company's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. Apparently either Patrick Byrne is a liar or Overstock.com's Board of Directors believes that his violations of Overstock.com's Code of Business Conduct and ethics is a joke. Examine the timeline below, for evidence that Overstock.com's Board of Director and management, once confronted with the vile and malicious acts of Patrick Byrne and his cronies, took certain minimal actions to contain some of the damage to Overstock.com.

May 15, 2007:

Acting on a suggestion by an anonymous reader known to me as Philosifur, about potential Sarbanes-Oxley issues, I obtained a copy of Overstock.com's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and made it available for download in my blog post entitled, "Overstock.com: A Copy of its Code of Business Conduct and Ethics." Note: Overstock.com's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics is not published on Overstock.com's web site and can only be obtained by writing a letter to the company. It's a wonder that Patrick Byrne uses Overstock.com's web site to smear his critics while his company does not post its Code of Business Conduct and Ethics there.

May 16, 2007:

I questioned Patrick Byrne about his failure to comply with Overstock.com's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics in a blog post entitled, "To Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com - Did you comply with the Company's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics."

May 17, 2007:

I asked additional questions to Patrick Byrne about his failure to comply with Overstock.com's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics in a blog post entitled, "To Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com: More Questions about the Company's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics."

Around May 28, 2007:

The delusional Edward Manfredonia's posts containing anti-Semitic remarks, false accusations, and smears are deleted from antisocialmedia.net. See my blog post from June 8, 2007, entitled, "Open Letter to the Audit Committee of Overstock.com: About how Patrick Byrne’s vindictive smear campaign uses threats and anti-Semitism," and June 18, 2007, entitled, "Who is Judd Bagley trying to fool about the use of anti-Semitism to attack critics of his boss, Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne?" To download a copy of the delusional Edward Manfredonia's anti-Semitic comments, false accusations, and smears on antisocialmedia.net, click here.

May 28, 2007:

After creating an account using the alias Hannibal on Overstock.com's Omuse web site, Patrick Byrne copies his posts on InvestorVillage to Overstock.com's web site. His comments contain threats, smears, and links to antisocialmedia.net

May 30, 2007:

My blog post entitled, "Open Letter to the Audit Committee of Overstock.com: The Company's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and actions of Patrick Byrne and others," discussed the responsibilities and duties of Overstock.com's Audit Committee regarding violations of Overstock.com's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. I sent an e-mail containing a link to my blog post to Overstock.com's Board of Directors.

June 3, 2007:

My blog post entitled, "Memo to Judd Bagley: Director of Communications at Overstock.com - About Threats on AntiSocialMedia.net," asked Judd Bagley why he has permitted a threat to "hurt" investigative reporter, blogger, and Byrne critic Gary Weiss by a reader identified as alpineanalytics to continue to remain posted on antisocialmedia.net from September 10, 2006. The comment said:
alpineanalytics wrote:
"Gary Weiss is PATHETIC...his books suck ...he is a weasel. In fact, there are quite a few people out there that are going to make an example out of him. He should be looking over his shoulders more carefully when he wants to engage in disrespectful behavior with people that will hurt him...economically, emotionally, and probably physically. Hey Gary...Louie P and Benny S. say hi...you $cumbag."
Posted 10 Sep 2006 at 8:36 am
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
I sent an e-mail containing a link to my blog post to Overstock.com's Board of Directors.

June 4, 2007:

In a blog item entitled, "Open Letter to the Audit Committee of Overstock.com: Patrick Byrne denies using private eyes," I discussed certain deceptive statements by Patrick Byrne relating to his denial of using private investigators.

June 6, 2007:

Joseph J. Tabacco joined Overstock.com's Board of Directors.

June 6, 2007:

In an apparent act of retaliation by Patrick Byrne and Judd Bagley, new anti-Semitic remarks and smears are posted on antisocialmedia.net by Edward Manfredonia. According to Judd Bagley, Edward Manfredonia's comments which were time stamped and submitted on June 6, 2006 at 5:25 AM were not posted until June 7, 2007 which indicates that Judd Bagley had his moderation feature for comments enabled. Therefore, Judd Bagley apparently reviewed Edward Manfredonia's new anti-Semitic remarks and smears before publishing them.

June 7, 2007:

I alerted attorney Howard Sirota about Edward Manfredonia's anti-Semitic remarks and smears on antisocialmedia.net.

June 8, 2007:

Howard Sirota wrote an e-mail to new board member, Joseph J. Tabacco Jr:
Dear Joe,
While I think you'll end up regretting your decision to join the Board of Overstock.com, that's really your own business.
I'm sure that you are unaware that someone named Edward Manfredonia is posting anti-semitic comments on www.antisocialmedia.net run by Judd Bagley, who works for Overstock.com.
Now you are on actual notice of the anti-semitic website run by an employee of the public company of which you are a Director. I expect you to make inquiry and take immediate corrective action.
If not, the ADL and I will do it for you.
This is NOT about any short-selling controversy. I have no position in OSTK.
This is about anti-semitism, which I won't countenance. Neither would the Joe Tabacco I knew.
Make it stop!
Regards,
Howard
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
June 8, 2007 (next):

Joseph J. Tabacco Jr. replied to Howard Sirota's e-mail:
Thanks Howard, I will look into this, you are correct this is not something obviously that I had been aware of.
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
June 8, 2007 (next):

Edward Manfredonia's latest anti-Semitic comments and smears are removed from antisocialmedia.net.

June 8, 2007 (next):

I post a blog item entitled, "Open Letter to the Audit Committee of Overstock.com: About how Patrick Byrne's vindictive smear campaign uses threats and anti-Semitism," I discussed the publishing of physical threats, anti-Semitic comments and smears on antisocialmedia.net.

June 8, 2007 (next):

Howard Sirota posted a comment on the Yahoo Overstock.com message board deploring anti-Semitic comments on that board.

June 8, 2007 (next):

I forward a link to my blog post entitled, "Open Letter to the Audit Committee of Overstock.com: About how Patrick Byrne's vindictive smear campaign uses threats and anti-Semitism," in an e-mail addressed to: Howard Sirota and Cc'd to Joseph J. Tabacco Jr, Michael Callahan (Yahoo General Counsel), the New York Anti-Defamation League, and the San Francisco Anti-Defamation League. That e-mail discussed the use of anti-Semitism by Patrick Byrne.

June 11, 2007:

In a blog post entitled, "Piling absurdity upon absurdity," Judd Bagley posted poor lies, excuses, and deflection about the publishing of Edward Manfredonia's anti-Semitic comments on antisocialmedia.net. He belittled Howard Sirota for posting a message on Yahoo deploring anti-Semitism.

June 12, 2007:

Evren Karpak, a contributor to antisocialmedia.net and an Overstock.com shareholder, carries out part of the threat in a comment published on antisocialmedia.net by alias alpineanalytics to "hurt" Gary Weiss "economically." In a post (message number 8042) on InvestorVillage, Evren Karpak stated that he had written letters to three of Gary Weiss's publishers: Forbes, SeekingAlpha.com, and Salon.com in an effort to have them discontinue business ties with Mr. Weiss.

June 12, 2007 (next):

Judd Bagley had posted a recommendation to Evren Karpak's post on InvestorVillage where he carries out a threat to "hurt" Gary Weiss economically by contacting his publishers. That post on InvestorVillage still remains published.

June 14, 2007:

Judd Bagley attempts to silence blogger and antisocialmedia.net critic Scipio Africanus through blackmail. Judd Bagley sent the following e-mail to blogger, Scipio Africanus:
From: Judd Bagley To: scipioafricanus_iv@yahoo.com Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2007 11:51:26 PM Subject: just thought I'd ask...
I thought I should tell you that I've have known your real identity for a while now.
Up until last week, it appeared that you'd grown tired of o-smear and all the games (which would make "outting" you unnecessary) but lately it appears that's not the case.
I don't want to cause anybody unnecessary harm, but I'm beyond tired of the lies.
If you choose to continue as you have been, I will write about you on AntiSocialMedia.net. In doing so, my goal is not to intimidate, but to let you own your words; under those circumstances, I think the lies will take care of themselves.
Having said that, I'm also very much aware of the impact this could have on your reputation, especially where you live, and I feel obligated to offer you a way out. So, if you're ready to set things right, I'll keep your name to myself and figure we'll both be karmically better off for it.
I look forward to your response (and will be PMing this to your IV account, as well).
Judd Bagley
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
June 16, 2007:

Judd Bagley posts Scipio Africanus' real identity on antisocialmedia.net a post entitled, "Hoosier daddy? ScipioAfricanus uncovered in Indiana," on antisocialmedia.net. According to Judd Bagley, Scipio Africanus is identified as Albert Kidd. He includes the following warning to Albert Kidd:
However, if in responding, ScipioAfricanus or any of his allies should question the veracity of these claims, the evidence will be presented, and Albert can deal with the consequences.
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
June 17, 2007:

Blogger and internet sleuth, Scipio Africanus refuses to back down. Scipio Africanus posts Judd Bagley's threat (above) on his O-Smear blog and responds:
Since the only way to damage my reputation would be to make up a bunch of stories about me, I'll assume that's what he means. Duly noted and recorded. As far as pointing out all the deception, spyware, etc. I'd put that stuff on my resume. The SEC and the Overstock Board of Directors (so they can't play dumb) got a copy of that one.
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
June 17, 2007 (next):

Later, Evren Karpak, an Overstock.com shareholder and antisocialmedia.net contributor, threatens Scipio Africanus with blackmail on InvestorVillage. Evren Karpak chimes in by posting the following message (number 8205) on InvestorVillage:
Scipio / Al Kidd still has one chance. He missed a few others, culminating in his mug being featured on ASM. I hope he does the right thing. I really do because what will come down on him if he chooses not to is not a fate I'd wish on anyone. Okay, maybe Gary Weiss.
Evren
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
June 17, 2007 (next):

Judd Bagley posts a recommendation to Evren Karpak's blackmail attempt, above, on InvestorVillage.

June 17, 2007 (next):

In a post (message number 8223) on InvestorVillage, using his alias De Daumier-Smith, Judd Bagley bids farewell to InvestorVillage:
As it is, this will likely be my farewell post on this board.
June 18, 2007:

I respond to Judd Bagley's lies and deflection on antisocialmedia.net concerning his relationship and collusion with Edward Manfredonia in a blog post entitled, "Who is Judd Bagley trying to fool about the use of anti-Semitism to attack critics of his boss, Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne?." In that blog post, I outline Patrick Byrne's use of threats, anti-Semitism, and smears to harass his critics.

June 24, 2007:

Antisocialmedia.net smear web site contributor, Evren Karpak, who has been posting messages on Yahoo under his alias evren60615, pursues Scipio Africanus on the Yahoo Overstock.com message board:
You call? Very simple, then. Respond to this message and violate the condition ASM has set on not revealing what he has. Make your denial.
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
June 24, 2007 (next):

Shortly afterwards, I notified Overstock.com's Board of Directors and its Audit Committee about the Bagley - Karpak collaboration. I wrote the following e-mail to the Board of Directors on Overstock.com and its Audit Committee:
To the Board of Directors of Overstock.com and its Audit Committee:
Are you aware that Judd Bagley (Director of Communications at Overstock.com) is colluding with Evren Karpak (Overstock.com shareholder and antisocialmedia.net contributor) to black mail the person known as Scipio Africanus?
The use of blackmail by Judd Bagley and others working in collusion with him violates Overstock.com's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
You are now on notice.
Respectfully,
Sam E. Antar (former Crazy Eddie CFO & convicted felon)
Cc: Kenneth Israel (Securities and Exchange Commission - Utah) William McKean (Securities and Exchange Commission - Utah)
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
June 24, 2007 (next):

About a couple of hours later, Evren Karpak's threat to Scipio Africanus disappears from Yahoo. However, his threat on InvestorVillage remains published.

June 24, 2007 (next):

All of a sudden a mysterious denial of service attack is claimed by Judd Bagley on antisocialmedia.net. Later that evening, Judd Bagley claimed on antisocialmedia.net:
AntiSocialMedia.net currently under a denial of service attack, which may account for inconsistency in page-load times. Sorry.
I noticed no denial of service attack as I visited antisocialmedia.net many times. Other false accusations, threats, and smears published in comments posted by other persons to Judd Bagley's posts on antisocialmedia.net disappear including the threat to Gary Weiss disappear and remain unpublished today.

June 26, 2007:

I sent another e-mail to Overstock.com's Board of Directors and its Audit Committee:
To the Board of Directors of Overstock.com and its Audit Committee:
Posting personal information of critics of Patrick Byrne on antisocialmedia.net
You are alerted that antisocialmedia.net continues to post certain personal information of individuals (critics of Patrick Byrne) including the home addresses.
http://antisocialmedia.net/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Main.JohnLichtenstein
I had previously alerted Judd Bagley about this issue in an exchange on the Yahoo message board while he posted under the anonymous alias antsaresocialinsects.....
Such activities violate Overstock.com's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
Respectfully,
Sam E. Antar
Cc: Kenneth Israel (Securities and Exchange Commission - Utah) Cc: William McKean (Securities and Exchange Commission - Utah)
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
June 26, 2007:

A few hours later, the personal information of two Byrne critics that was posted antisocialmedia.net disappeared.

June 28, 2007:

I sent the following e-mail:
To the Board of Directors of Overstock.com and its Audit Committee:
Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock.com, is now copying his InvestorVillage.com posts to Overstock.com's web site.
Link here: http://omuse.overstock.com/wiki/User:Hannibal
Certain messages encourage people to read antisocialmedia.net and contain links to that web site.
It is very apparent that Patrick Byrne has encouraged and approved of Judd Bagley's activities on antisocialmedia.net and is now using the Overstock.com's web site to direct traffic to antisocialmedia.net....
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
Since, that information can still be found on Overstock.com's web site, I guess they decided that it is alright for Overstock.com to support antisocialmedia.net.

July 1, 2007:

Patrick Byrne sets up a new blog on Overstock.com's Omuse web site. Patrick Byrne copies his posts on InvestorVillage to Overstock.com's web site. His comments contain threats, smears, and links to antisocialmedia.net.

July 6, 2007:

Patrick Byrne announces on InvestorVillage that he will not be posting on internet message boards and will consolidate his smear campaign against critics on Overstock.com. Patrick Byrne praises his antisocialmedia.net contributor, Evren Karpak, who has used threats, smears, and blackmail in various messages posted over the internet against Byrne critics in his farewell post on InvestorVillage:
Evren - Ditto. You are a deep guy, and write beautifully. It is hard to believe that English is a second language for you, as you write better than 99.99% of those to whom it is a first....
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
Previously, Patrick Byrne had expressed disappointment that his smear campaign on internet message boards might be perceived as separated from his role as CEO of Overstock.com

On April 1, 2006, on Overstock.com's web site, Patrick Byrne had discussed his reasons for taking his "act" to the Motley Fool message board for Overstock.com:

Dear O-Auctions Community,
It has been a year since I wrote here. I apologize.
I have been busy, but that was not the real reason I stayed away. I decided to take my act to a more public forum, and also, to distance my crusade from my role as president of Overstock.
So I left here and moved over to Fool.com. I have been in and out of Fool.com, sometimes taking a month or two off, but pretty much sticking there.
Also, I have been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes writing that you occasionally see pop up in other blogs. That was all a mistake. I wish I had just stayed here, if for no other reason than nobody separates my role as president of Overstock.com from my attempt to reform the market.
Note: Bold print, italics, and underlining added by me.
Patrick Byrne consolidates his smear campaign to Overstock.com's web site

In his bitter, defiant, and ranting farewell post on InvestorVillage, on July 6, 2007, Patrick Byrne writes:
For all of these reasons I decided to create my own blog on Omuse and funnel into it all the previous work that I could find from these various forums. I'll come back here from time to time, reading, when I get a chance, but intend to write mostly on my blog, hoping that what I write gets reposted here. When it is up and running smoothly, those that want can even migrate there, where there will be a 0 Tolerance rule for miscreants. Evren had it right: not much will change in practice, and of course, I will come back on occasion, if only to dispel rumor mongering of miscreants.
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
Patrick Byrne and his various cronies acting in collusion have used anti-Semitism on the internet to harass and intimidate critics

In two previous posts on this blog, entitled, "Open Letter to the Audit Committee of Overstock.com: About how Patrick Byrne's vindictive smear campaign uses threats and anti-Semitism," and "Who is Judd Bagley trying to fool about the use of anti-Semitism to attack critics of his boss, Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne?," I described the use of anti-Semitism by Patrick Byrne and Judd Bagley sometimes acting in concert with Edward Manfredonia on antisocialmedia.net, InvestorVillage, and Motley Fool as tool of Byrne's smear campaign against critics and others.

Patrick Byrne (CEO of Overstock.com) compares InvestorVillage to the British Parliament

In another blog post here, entitled, "InvestorVillage is the place for Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne, his henchman Judd Bagley, and their cronies," I described how InvestorVillage is a place that permits penny stock promoting, cyber stalking, anti-Semitic comments, threats and/or blackmail by either Patrick Byrne (CEO of Overstock.com), Judd Bagley (Director of Communications at Overstock.com) Evren Karpak (contributor to Overstock.com's antisocialmedia.net smear web site, and the delusional Edward Manfredonia (an advisor to Judd Bagley).

Patrick Byrne compares InvestorVillage, which continues to stubbornly refuse to delete anti-Semitic comments by its participants, with the British Parliament. InvestorVillage, in an act of defiance, still has not deleted anti-Semitic comments and smears posted on its web site by the delusional Edward Manfredonia (an advisor to Judd Bagley, Director of Communications at Overstock.com) since I notified them several times via e-mail on Thursday, May 31, 2007 and Friday, June 1, 2007.

On June 1, 2007, Patrick Byrne (CEO of Overstock.com) endorsed InvestorVillage in his new blog on Overstock.com's web site. He wrote:
Because Fool.com went the way of Yahoo (that is, massive clogging with gibberish of shills), I (as you will have read below) switched from Fool to investorVillage (for those interested in stock message boards regarding any company, I recommend InvestorVillage: as civilization-scores go, Yahoo is a jungle, Fool is now the Wild West, but the InvestorVillage board is the British parliament).
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
To download a copy of the delusional Edward Manfredonia's anti-Semitic comments, false accusations, and smears on InvestorVillage, click here.

Patrick Byrne has used InvestorVillage to encourage readers to post smears on his antisocialmedia.net smear web site that is administered by Judd Bagley (Director of Communications at Overstock.com)

For example, on March 4, 2007, in a post (message number 5236) on InvestorVillage Patrick Byrne had encouraged other message board participants to comment on his antisocialmedia.net smear web site that is administered by Judd Bagley (Director of communications at Overstock.com):
About AntiSocialMedia.net
The unique strength of social media (another term for peer-generated, web-distributed content) is also its unique weakness: the fact that anybody can get involved.
AntiSocialMedia.Net seeks to hold accountable those who abuse the power of social media for personal gain.
Our mandate is broad but our scope, as you'll read, is less so: focusing primarily on the use of social media as a tool in support of illegal stock manipulation efforts. The principal editor of this website is employed by one of the many companies mentioned in these pages, but is not a shareholder and receives no support whatsoever from his employer.
Please use the comment feature or email to submit tips or additional information.
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
Blogger and antisocialmedia.net critic known as, Scipio Africanus, who Judd Bagley and his associate Evren Karpak, attempted to silence to a blackmail attempt responded to Patrick Byrne.

A day later, in a post (message number 5291) on InvestorVillage, Scipio Africanus wrote:
A mandate generally implies acting upon instructions or orders given by others. Who issued the mandate?
Is there any significance that this "mandate" was not revealed until January 13, 2007? (Note that is the same day this ASM article was published and the paragraph above was originally part of that article.)
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
Judd Bagley, in his attempt to blackmail Scipio Africanus in collusion with antisocialmedia.net contributor Evren Karpak, Bagley makes it clear that antisocialmedia.net's mandate is from Patrick Byrne

On May 13, 2007, in a post (message number 7306) on InvestorVillage, under his alias De Daumier-Smith, Judd Bagley wrote:
This is going to get very interesting, very quickly, folks. To quote Patrick, I'm going to do Scipio "slow."
Note: Bold print and italics added.
Other actions by Judd Bagley make it clear that he takes instructions from Patrick Byrne and Overstock.com

Investigative reporter, blogger, and Byrne critic, Gary Weiss who is a target of Patrick Byrne's vendetta against the financial media, wrote in a blog item entitled, "Is the Overstock.com Board Rousing From its Slumber?," wrote:
Sam, you see, has been in touch by email with the Overstock board of directors concerning ASM. And as you can see from the post, one of Sam's emails quite obviously led to the deletion of some particularly vile reader comments from ASM, including a physical threat against myself from operators of Alpine Analytics that I have previously written about.
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
My blog post that Gary Weiss was referring to above was entitled, "InvestorVillage is the place for Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne, his henchman Judd Bagley, and their cronies." I have written extensively about the flimsy wall of separation that Patrick Byrne has concocted between Overstock.com and antisocialmedia.net in my blog posts here entitled, "Don't Mess with Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne" and "The Deceptions of Patrick Byrne (CEO of Overstock.com) and Judd Bagley (Director of Social Media at Overstock.com)."

Apparently Patrick Byrne has no issue with anti-Semitic comments, delusional Jewish conspiracy theories, and smears being posted on his antisocialmedia.net web site

On March 8, 2007, four days after Patrick Byrne solicited smears for antisocialmedia.net in his post on InvestorVillage; Edward Manfredonia had posted the following anti-Semitic comments, smears, and delusions in a long winded rant antisocialmedia.net:
Several years ago I began to write that Gary Weiss had lied about the murders of Al Chalem and Maier Lehmann. Weiss attributed these murders to the Italian Mafia. Weiss knew that Chalem and Lehmann had been murdered by the Russian Mob.
What is important to note that after I had posted that Weiss had lied about the murders of Chalem and Lehmann, Floyd Schneider, under the psuedonym The Truthseeker, posted on a message board, I believe that it was Silicaon Investor, a long article. This article delineated Chalem's Mafia contacts.
But Floyd Schneider did not write the article. This article was written in the turgid, constipated style of Gary Weiss.
This is important for several reasons.
The first is that it is painfully obvious that Floyd Schneider does not author his own scribblings- except for short moronic messages that he posts on message boards.
The second is that Floyd Schneider is obviously fronting for individuals, who have a specific agenda. In this instance it was Gary Weiss, who lied about the murders of Chalem and Lehmann. In other instances Schneider is fronting for short sellers.
While Al Chalem had previously had connections with the Italian Mafia, Lehmann refused to have anything to do wth the Italian Mafia.
Lehmann's partners in his stock frauds were Orthodox Jews, many of whom, such as Feivel Gottlieb, were members of his synagogue.
This was known to Gary Weiss, a great defender of Israel, and to Weiss' editor, Seymour Zucker.
Seymour Zucker and Feivel Gottlieb belonged to the same Talmud study group.
Seymour Zucker knew that Feivel Gottlieb was involved in the stock frauds of Maier Lehmann. Zucker knew that Gottlieb had earned millions in the stock frauds of Maier Lehmann, who was descended from a long line of Rabbis.
Weiss knew of the involvement of Orthodox Jews in the stock frauds of Maier Lehmann, but Weiss refused to expose the stock frauds of Maier Lehmann because Weiss would have been compelled to expose the involvment of an entire Orthodox synagogue in the stock frauds of Maier Lehmann.
Better to attribute the murders of Chalem and Lehmann to the Italian Mafia- and obtain a book contract. (Even though the book bombed.)
60 Minutes would never have Weiss appear if Weiss were to attribute the murders of Chalem and Lehmann to the Russian Mob, which was created by the Jackson-Vanick Act. Every parent, whose child uses ecstasy, can thank the Russian and Israeli Mobs for their child's drug abuse. And this was stated by the State Department several weeks ago.
Respectfully submitted,
Edward Manfredonia
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
Additional vile anti-Semitic comments, false accusations, and smears were posted by the delusional Edward Manfredonia over the next few months on antisocialmedia.net, InvestorVillage, and Yahoo. At least, Yahoo has taken action to delete anti-Semitic comments without making up excuses. InvestorVillage stubbornly refuses to delete Edward Manfredonia's anti-Semitic comments and smears despite repeated requests.

To download examples of the delusional Edward Manfredonia's anti-Semitic comments, false accusations, and smears on antisocialmedia.net, click here.

Judd Bagley has defended Edward Manfredonia anti-Semitic comments, false accusations, and smears and praised him as a knowledgeable advisor

The delusional Edward Manfredonia had posted vile and malicious anti-Semitic comments, false accusations, and smears in an orgy of posts on antisocialmedia.net and InvestorVillage directed at Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morganthau, Judge Michael D. Stallman, Gary Weiss, me and others.

On April 2, 2007, in a post (message number 6052) on InvestorVillage.com using his alias De Daumier-Smith, Judd Bagley defended the delusional Edward Manfredonia's anti-Semitic comments, false accusations, and smears:
...Ed may have a quirky way of communicating in writing, but I can assure you he's one of the more knowledgeable people I know. Ed has been enormously generous in sharing his knowledge of how Planet Wall Street works (both in theory and in practice) with me.
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
A supporter of Patrick Byrne had boasted in a post (message number 5943) on InvestorVillage that Judd Bagley had "many lengthy conversations" with Edward Manfredonia:
This was Judd's reply to me when I asked him about Mr. Manfredonia. Judd, sorry about posting a PM, but I felt in this case it was warranted. "I have had MANY lengthy conversations with Ed. He is a very good and principled man. But he seriously lacks the ability to communicate effectively. "
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
Patrick Byrne says he is an avid reader and raving fan of antisocialmedia.net

On January 31, 2007, in a post (message number 4287) on InvestorVillage.com, using his alias Hannibal, Patrick Byrne wrote that he is "an avid reader and raving fan" of antisocialmedia.net. Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

Patrick Byrne shares the same delusional theories as Edward Manfredonia

Jeff Matthews, in a blog item entitled, "Conspiracy of the Jews?-Part II," wrote:
The interview took place on Friday December 16th, and it lasted for an hour and a half. (You can listen to it at a speeded-up rate in far less time on the CFRN web site).
In the midst of the usual paranoid-sounding diatribe against the so-called naked short-selling scandal, Byrne is encouraged to get specific about the root causes of the problem. The host asks:
"Are we dealing with the traditional old-boy network or has organized crime gotten involved?"
To this, Patrick Byrne says the following, and I quote him:
"Every rabbit hole you go down leads to either [sic] the Italian mob, the Russian mob or the Israeli mob, and nobody's ever asked about that, and I haven't pressed the issue...but every rabbit hole you go down you end up in one of those three places....
"The Israeli mob and the Russian mob are the two ones [sic] who scare me."
Those are the words of Patrick M. Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com. I am not making them up.
Byrne goes on to discuss, briefly, the "Russian mob" as a kind of band of marauders who perpetrate scams and then retreat to their "dachas" on the Caspian Sea for a break before the next scam.
He elaborates in far greater detail on the nefariousness of the so-called "Israeli mob":
"If you Google ‘ecstasy Israeli mafia' you'll find articles that basically the Israeli mob...is thought to control 75% of the ecstasy trade in the United States."
Now, as with Byrne's bringing up Thomas Friedman's supposed pro-Israel tendencies in a Motley Fool rant, I find it hard to understand how Israel's supposed domination of the ecstasy trade in the United States relates to naked short-selling on the U.S. stock exchanges.
But let's assume, for a minute, that it does.
And let's do exactly what Patrick Byrne says: let's Google ‘ecstasy Israeli mafia' and see what we come up with.
Okay, I Googled the phrase and I got 30,600 results in 0.16 seconds.
Hmmm. Patrick Byrne appears to be right: when you type in those three words, you get articles that-this is incredible-accuse Israel of controlling the U.S. ecstasy trade!
Let's look at the first page, one link at a time.
The first two links are to the web site of an author touting a book he wrote about the rise and fall of an Israeli kingpin in the ecstasy trade, but he doesn't particularly focus on the Israelis-as-uber-mobsters angles that Patrick says "scare me."
The third listed link resulting from this Google search recommended by Patrick Byrne-and I am not making this up-is to the web site of Al Jazeera.
Yes, you have it right: that Al Jazeera.
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
After all, Patrick Byrne has termed his so-called campaign against naked short-selling as a "Jihad."

Recently, he has now mockingly called his so-called campaign against naked short selling a "mitzvah"
On June 24, 2007 after the fall out resulting from new anti-Semitic comments posted on antisocialmedia.net that were deleted at Board member Joseph J. Tabacco's request, Patrick Byrne commented on Overstock.com's web site:
I know from your emails that many of you are following my Mitzvah*....
* "Mitzvah" is a Hebrew word meaning (as I was taught, anyway) "obligatory good deed". For example, the "Ten Commandments" of the Old Testament are actually the ten Mitzvahs in the original (the word shows up in "Bar Mitzvah" and "Bat Mitzvah" as well). While at times my battle against Wall Street has been termed a "Jihad" (though I honestly do not remember who used that first, myself or my opponents), and later I called it a "Crusade," more recently I have settled on "Mitzvah" as the best term, as my actions pring less from any fervor, passion, or desire than they do from a sense of obligation. Normal humans, when they see ordinary people getting kicked by powerful bullies, feel an obligation to intervene. Doing so seems to be the Mitzvah that has been thrust upon me of late.
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
A "friend" and business associate of Patrick Byrne, claiming to be a Rabbi, attempts to defend him on InvestorVillage

On June 26, 2007, in a post (message number 8411) on InvestorVillage, using the alias mayerrice, Mayer Gniwisch wrote:
Well, to be honest, I am not a writer, however I will try and express my thoughts to you on this issue. I will put my Rabbi hat on, and speak now as a Rabbi... My job is not to look for Patrick's fault. I am a friend of his who saw people talk of him as an anti-Semite and felt responsible to speak up. What I've learnt as a Rabbi is, never judge your fellow man until you are in his shoes and you know all the details. Which in short means never, because what we see in others is a mere reflection of ourselves.
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
In that same post, he went on to describe his business relationship with Patrick Byrne.
Now I will put on my www.ice.com diamond maven's hat. The diamond deal had all the potential to be a grand slam home run. Other issues at the company, issues that affected all of the company caused the deal to be only a bunt.
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
While his job was "not to look for Patrick's fault," Mayer Gniwisch had no problem looking at the fault of others and judging them by calling them names
On June 28, 2007, in a post (message number 13025) on Motley Fool, Mr. Rice wrote:
I will say it again. I am not here to judge people. If Patrick does it, that is his issue to deal with. I must say that you guys are a bunch of "Yentas".
Note: Bold print and italics added by me.
On July 3, 2007, in a post (message number 13103) on Motley Fool, Mr. Rice wrote:
You are right I was judging you, Sorry! Shalom to you all.
In his next post (message number 13104) on Motley Fool, Mr. Rice writes:
Yes, Spreading Lashon Hara that someone is an anti Semite is worse than being a Yenta.
The beat goes on

Less than 24 hours after his farewell post on InvestorVillage, Patrick Byrne was back posting a new message (number 8588) smearing New York Times columnist, Joe Nocera. Shortly, Overstock.com's Board of Directors and its Audit Committee should be meeting to approve the release of the company's second quarter numbers. Let's see if they sign off on Overstock.com's disclosures to the Securities and Exchange Commission and take appropriate action against Patrick Byrne and his cronies.

Written by,

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

Update Patrick Byrne Responds

I sent the following e-mail to Overstock.com's Board of Directors, Audit Committee, and Patrick Byrne:
From: Sam E. Antar
Sent: Sunday, July 08, 2007 2:23 AM
To: Board of Directors; Clay Corbus; Joseph Tabacco, Patrick Byrne

Cc: Walter G. Ricciardi (Securities and Exchange Commission); Roel C. Campos (Securities and Exchange Commission); Roel C. Campos (Securities and Exchange Commission); Kenneth Israel (Securities and Exchange Commission); Kenneth Israel (Securities and Exchange Commission); William McKean (Securities and Exchange Commission); Norman Korb (Securities and Exchange Commission); Richard Simpson (Securities and Exchange Commission); New York Anti-Defamation League; San Francisco Anti-Defamation League

Note: I deleted certain e-mail addresses and substituted them with the names of e-mail recipients. Subject: White Collar Fraud Blog: Patrick Byrne, CEO of
Overstock.com, Continues his Ugly Campaign of Menace
To the Board of Directors, Audit Committee, and CEO of Overstock.com
You are on notice as to the CEO Patrick Byrne’s continued violations of Overstock.com’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
You are respectfully reminded of your duties regarding
Overstock.com’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
Please refer to my blog for additional information.
Title: Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, Continues his Ugly Campaign of Menace
Link here: http://whitecollarfraud.blogspot.com/2007/07/patrick-byrne-ceo-of-overstockcom.html
Respectfully,
Sam E. Antar (former Crazy Eddie CFO & convicted felon)

Cc: Walter G. Ricciardi (Securities and Exchange Commission)
Cc: Roel C. Campos (Securities and Exchange Commission)
Cc: Kenneth Israel (Securities and Exchange Commission)
Cc: William McKean (Securities and Exchange Commission)
Cc: Norman Korb (Securities and Exchange Commission)
Cc: Richard Simpson (Securities and Exchange Commission)
Cc: New York Anti-Defamation League
Cc: San Francisco Anti-Defamation League

Confidentiality Notice: The information contained in this electronic mail is confidential information intended only for the use of the entity or individual to whom it is addressed. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, retransmission, or copying of this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received the message in error, please notify me immediately by reply transmission. Thank you.

Shortly afterwards, I received read receipts from Patrick Byrne (Overstock.com CEO) and Jonathan Johnson (Overstock.com General Counsel).

Then I received an e-mail from Patrick Byrne
From: Patrick Byrne
Sent: Sunday, July 08, 2007 3:19 AM
To: Sam E. Antar; Board - Jonathan Johnson; Clay Corbus; Joseph Tabacco
Cc: Walter G. Ricciardi (Securities and Exchange Commission); Roel C. Campos (Securities and Exchange Commission); Roel C. Campos (Securities and Exchange Commission); Kenneth Israel (Securities and Exchange Commission); Kenneth Israel (Securities and Exchange Commission); William McKean (Securities and Exchange Commission); Norman Korb (Securities and Exchange Commission); Richard Simpson (Securities and Exchange Commission); New York Anti-Defamation League; San Francisco Anti-Defamation League

Note: I deleted certain e-mail addresses and substituted them with the names of e-mail recipients.
Subject: RE: White Collar Fraud Blog: Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, Continues his Ugly Campaign of Menace
Sam,

http://forums.auctions.overstock.com/viewtopic.php?p=221204#221204
Enjoy.

Patrick
Patrick Byrne responds on Overstock.com's Board of Directors, Audit Committee, and him (above) and reprinted my blog post
Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 12:18 am Post subject: Sam writes the most ironic email in history
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey folks.

There is a fellow named Sam who, as he proudly points out, is a convicted felon (he is less proudly open about the fact that he ratted out some family members in order to save his own skin). He is not in prison now, and makes a "hobby" out of clogging message boards with deposition-style questions for and non sequitors about me, posted round-the-clock (see example below). The miscreants are running low on new cronies willing to join their group (the sane journalists have woken up to what is going on, and even let me know that they see it), so Sam is being promoted to the rarified ranks of Crony-in-Training (Herb had Sam on a few nights ago - now we see Herb quoting Sam in his stories, Sam quoting Herb, etc. etc.) Sam has been blasting me, our board, our lawyers etc. with more of the same, and, as he makes clear, government officials as well. He asked (at the bottom of the enclosed letter) that the following not be made public, but I think that his letter tonight, exhibiting as it does the highest ratio of claims to evidence, the purest falsehoods, and the least supported assumptions, that I can recall being packed into one of his missives, is too sweet to be kept private.
Enjoy.
=============================================


Hi Sam,

Thanks for demonstrating your sanity with that lucid, cogent analysis. Tell me, why is it "reporting" when the New York Times does it, but "stalking" if I do it? I missed that part of the first amendment.
Patrick


He posted my e-mail on Overstock.com's web site and copied my blog post above. Not that I cared.


Patrick Byrne did not post any of my links to download Overstock.com's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.


The beat went on.


I sent out another e-mail to Patrick Byrne
From: Sam E. Antar [mailto:sam@whitecollarfraud.com]
Sent: Sunday, July 08, 2007 6:14 AM
To: Patrick Byrne; Board of Directors, Clay Corbus, Joseph J. Tabacco
Cc: Roel C. Campos (Securities and Exchange Commission); Walter G. Ricciardi (Securities and Exchange Commission); Norman Korb (Securities and Exchange Commission); William McKean (Securities and Exchange Commission); Kenneth Israel (Securities and Exchange Commission); New York Anti-Defamation League; San Francisco Anti-Defamation League

Note: I deleted certain e-mail addresses and substituted them with the names of e-mail recipients.
Subject: RE: White Collar Fraud Blog: Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, Continues his Ugly Campaign of Menace
Patrick Byrne,
You forgot to post my links to download Overstock.com’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
Why not post your Code of Business Conduct and Ethics on your web site?
Respectfully,
Sam E. Antar (former Crazy Eddie CFO & convicted felon)
E-Mail: sam@whitecollarfraud.comWeb Site: www.whitecollarfraud.comBlog: www.whitecollarfraud.blogspot.com
Patrick Byrne responds by e-mail
From: Patrick Byrne [mailto:PByrne@overstock.com]
Sent: Sunday, July 08, 2007 12:09 PM
To: Sam E. Antar; Board - Jonathan Johnson; Clay Corbus; Joseph Tabacco
Cc: Roel C. Campos (Securities and Exchange Commission); Walter G. Ricciardi (Securities and Exchange Commission); Norman Korb (Securities and Exchange Commission); William McKean (Securities and Exchange Commission); Kenneth Israel (Securities and Exchange Commission); New York Anti-Defamation League; San Francisco Anti-Defamation League

Note: I deleted certain e-mail addresses and substituted them with the names of e-mail recipients.
Subject: RE: White Collar Fraud Blog: Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, Continues his Ugly Campaign of Menace
Done.
http://forums.auctions.overstock.com/viewtopic.php?p=221216#221216
Patrick Byrne's new post on Overstock.com's web site
Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:09 am Post subject:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sam writes now to suggest that I withheld some key component of his argument. No doubt it is that one piece that would have made it all fit together into one tight, cohesive package: I would not know as I really do nothing more than glance at his emails for title, length, and rant-factor. Just to give him the benefit of the doubt, though, I have inserted a link to it in the posting above, and reproduce that link here:

http://www.whitecollarfraud.com/files/26805346.pdf
Patrick
PS I would not normally repost something from another message board, but these two responses on investorvillage are priceless.
Msg: 8596 of 8597 7/8/2007 9:26:12 AM Recs: 0 Sentiment: Not Disclosed
By: evren Send PM Profile Ignore Recommend Add To Favorites
Posted as a reply to msg 8595 by Hannibal

Re: Crazy Sam Struts His Stuff
Crazy Eddie's prices may be insane but his cousin, apparently, is certifiable. I read every third sentence and laughed as hard as I have in a long time. All I can think of is, Borat is making a sequel and we all just got punked. Okay, where are the cameras?
Msg: 8597 of 8597 7/8/2007 10:02:02 AM Recs: 0 Sentiment: Not Disclosed
By: HANGMAN COMING Send PM Profile Ignore Recommend Add To Favorites
Posted as a reply to msg 8595 by Hannibal
Re: Crazy Sam Struts His Stuff
Oh how desperate is he getting? Sam,you used to rant about the accounting practice,nothing there,now you rage about free speech trying to quell others,you protest way to much,of course we know you have absolutly nothing to lose here,right?and we know your just a concerned overstock investor,right?
The beat goes on

Imagine the CEO of a public company linking to a convicted felon's web site to provide his shareholders a download of his own company's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics?

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