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Showing posts from October, 2008

New Accounting Errors Make Overstock.com’s Financial Reports Not Reliable While SEC Regulation G Violations Continue

The saga of Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) led by CEO Patrick Byrne is a clear example of why so many investors have lost faith in the integrity of financial information disseminated by public companies. Overstock.com is a perennial money losing company selling investors hope for the future as its unprincipled management team continually disseminates an almost endless stream of false, misleading, deceptive, and erroneous disclosures.Overstock.com’s latest Q3 2008 earnings release disclosed new accounting errors that render its previous financial reports as not reliable. The company disclosed that it is restating all financial reports from 2003 to 2008 due to material “errors related to the accounting of customer refunds and credits.” Therefore, Overstock.com reported that all financial reports dating back to 2003 “should no longer be relied upon.”A History of Accounting ErrorsEarlier this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Corporation Finance uncovered revenue acco…

Message to Overstock.com Management about Q3 Earnings Call

To Patrick Byrne, Jonathan E. Johnson III, David Chidester, and Jason C. Lindsey:I listened in to Overstock.com's (NASDAQ: OSTK) Q3 2008 earnings call.There is a lesson that I learned as the criminal CFO of Crazy Eddie:"The cover up is worse than the crime."It is inappropriate for you to lie to, deceive, and mislead investors about your financial reporting. I call it criminal.You can run but you cannot hide your charades from this convicted felon.Stay tuned for my next blog post for further details.Kindest regards,Sam E. Antar (former Crazy Eddie CFO and a convicted felon)Update:During the Q3 2008 earnings call, Overstock.com's management attempted to address issues raised in my previous blog post with new false and misleading statements. A detailed response to Overstock.com is posted here.Disclosure: Not long or short Overstock.com.

My Questions for Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne Regarding Upcoming Earnings Call for Q3 2008

During the Q2 2008 earnings call, Patrick Byrne asked if I had any “questions” even though he knew that I was not on the call. Therefore, I am taking Patrick Byrne up on his invitation to ask questions for Overstock.com’s (NASDAQ: OSTK) upcoming Q3 2008 earnings call tomorrow on Friday, October 24. Before, asking each of my questions below, I provide the context of my questions. I look forward to an articulate and detailed separate response to each of my questions and will publish Byrne’s answers on my blog.Let’s see if Patrick Byrne, who calls himself a transparent CEO, has the guts to answer each and every question.Using Earnings before interest, taxes, and depreciation (EBITDA) in Overstock.com’s financial reportsOn April 23, 2004, Patrick Byrne appeared on the Kudlow and Cramer show on CNBC and commented about EBITDA:Well, first of all, I’m all about GAAP. I have been so critical of the companies that do–I don’t believe in one-time charges; I don’t believe in EBITDA. If somebody t…

Why White Collar Criminals Do Not Fear Today's FBI

As the heartless cold blooded criminal CFO of Crazy Eddie, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was a respected adversary that filled my stomach with butterflies and caused me many sleepless nights as I feared their tenacity to successfully investigate my crimes. Unfortunately, the white collar criminals of today have much less to fear from the FBI. According to anarticle in the New York Times:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is struggling to find enough agents and resources to investigate criminal wrongdoing tied to the country’s economic crisis, according to current and former bureau officials.
The bureau slashed its criminal investigative work force to expand its national security role after the Sept. 11 attacks, shifting more than 1,800 agents, or nearly one-third of all agents in criminal programs, to terrorism and intelligence duties. Current and former officials say the cutbacks have left the bureau seriously exposed in investigating areas like white-collar crime, which has ta…

A Crisis of Confidence: Some Small Steps We Can Take Now

The main pillar of our capitalist economic system is the integrity of financial information. When the markets loose faith in the integrity of financial information, the collective market capitalizations of all companies suffer. Today, we a suffering a loss of faith and confidence in the integrity of the financial information reported by public companies and the result has been a downward spiral in stock prices and a tightening of credit that threatens to destroy our economy.There are some small steps we can do now to restore faith in our markets and get our economy back on track.Continuity: We immediately need a new Treasury Secretary that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on now, to provide continuity no matter who wins the November election. That means that President George Bush, Democratic Party candidate Barack Obama, Republican Party candidate John McCain, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, and other leaders should stop their silly posturing and get…