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Friday, October 12, 2007

Patrick Byrne — A Very Interesting Bird

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Patrick M. ByrnePatrick M. Byrne first crossed the Johnsville blogscope when the very savvy hedge fund manager Jeff Matthews starting blogging about him a few years ago. If you're a financial blogger Overstock.com founder and CEO Patrick Byrne has been like your very own Duke lacrosse scandal. A story that just keeps going and going.
Jeff Matthews / May 9, 2005 /Jeff Matthews is not making this up blog:
Patrick and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Part I -- That a CEO who misses such a big target by such a wide mark, and then has the notion to brand a relatively insignficant web site “Earth’s Biggest Discounter™”—and receives little apparent scrutiny from Wall Street’s Finest or even his own Board of Directors, owes itself to several factors, in my view. [...]

Jeff Matthews / December 10, 2005:
Weekend Reading: Conspiracy of the Jews? -- Readers will recall that during a bizarre August conference call (see “I'm Not a Cokehead and Other Truths from Patrick Byrne, CEO”), Byrne claimed his company was the victim of a coordinated attack by a group of hedge fund louts, myself included, plus veteran journalists and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, all masterminded by a “Sith Lord” with the tacit blessing of the SEC. [...]

Jeff Matthews / May 22, 2007:
Pilgrimage, Part VI: The Most Versatile Investor in the World -- If you haven’t heard, Patrick Byrne is a self-styled “crusader” who’s spent the better part of two years attempting to convince the world that his money-losing company has been unfairly attacked by a coalition of short-selling hedge funds, “crooked” reporters, lax SEC regulators, Israeli mobsters and others who all take their direction from a James Bond/SPECTRE-style “Sith Lord.”

I make up none of those accusations. [...]
The "Sith Lord" allegation has become a Wall Street legend.

Since then Byrne has continued on his bumpy course as CEO of OverStock.com and has crossed swords with others, including NY Times reporter Joseph Nocera and financial reporter Herb Greenberg.
Herb Greenberg /Nov. 10, 2006/ Herb Greenberg's Market blog:
Byrne: Overstock's Patrick Byrne vs. the Truth -- he referred to me and Fortune's Bethany McLean as liars. The beat goes on...

Herb Greenberg /Dec. 6, 2006
Worst CEO of 2006 goes to Ilia Lekach of Parlux Commentary: Overstock's Byrne is runner up for the second straight year
Sam E. AntarNow Patrick Byrne has caught the eye of Sam E. Antar. Mr. Antar is a convicted felon, who has turned his life around. His web site "White Collar Fruad" says:
I am the former CFO of Crazy Eddie and now a convicted felon who helped mastermind one of the largest securities frauds uncovered in the 1980's. In this blog, I share my views about white collar crime, securities fraud, the accounting profession, internal controls, Sarbanes-Oxley, and other related topics.
So if Sam Antar takes a keen interest in you - well, that's like a former arsonist saying he smells smoke. And where there's smoke...
Sam E. Antar / White Collar Fraud:
Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock.com: A history of deception, deceit, and distortion - Part 1: The Early Days -- Having never met Overstock.com CEO, Patrick Byrne, I cannot determine when his hyping, spinning, and deceptions began and when they end.

In my new series of blog posts, I will carefully examine in detail Patrick Byrne's comments from before Overstock.com went public to the present. Upon careful analysis, I have found a continuous pattern of deceitful, inconsistent, and contradictory statements made by Patrick Byrne that more often than not conflict with other disclosures made by him and Overstock.com.

Most of Patrick Byrne's deceitful, inconsistent and contradictory statements cited in this blog post (part 1 of my series) predate Overstock.com's IPO in June 2002, predate Overstock.com's litigation defendant Gradient Analytics' initial coverage of Overstock.com, and predate Overstock.com litigation defendant Rocker Partners' initial short position of Overstock.com.

My cousin, Crazy Eddie Antar used to say that, "people live on hope." Like Eddie, Patrick Byrne's hyping seems to reflect the behavior of a penny stock promoter, since his comments often have no bearing in reality. Overstock.com constantly misses targets set by Byrne. Patrick Byrne's statements are often inconsistent with each other and in many cases contradict other facts on hand [...]
Now Mr. Antar just has to worry that his criticism of Bryne will land him in some conspiracy theory.

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