Patrick Byrne & Co. Up to Dirty Message Board Tricks Again

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I occasionally take a peek at stock message boards like the Investor Village Overstock.com board when I need a bit of entertainment. It’s especially interesting when the poster “Hannibal” makes statements about the financials and operations of Overstock.com and makes no disclosure that he is, in fact, Patrick Byrne the CEO of Overstock (NASDAQ:OSTK).

Patrick and his little friends have a history of using dirty tricks to try to gather information on the people who dare to say anything negative about Overstock. Paid cyberstalker Judd Bagley is known for secretly embedding code into messages he posts on message boards, with the intent of harvesting information about the IP addresses of those who read and respond to his messages. Continue reading

Whole Foods bans executives from message boards

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From Zac Bissonnette at BloggingStocks:

After Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFMI) CEO John Mackey bizarre antics prompted an SEC investigation and widespread media hoopla, the company’s board of directors has decided on a new policy. Top executives and directors will now be explicitly prohibited from posting on online forums about the company, its vendors, or its competitors, except on Whole Foods-sponsored sites.

Happily, the change does not prohibit them from posting about other topics. So Mr. Mackey will still be able to compliment his own hairstyle while posting anonymously.

It’s kind of bizarre that Whole Foods even had to add this to its code of ethics, and it seems unlikely that this kind of thing will ever happen again at any normal company. Of course, it happens every day over at Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK), where Director of Communications Judd Bagley routinely attacks critics on Yahoo! message boards and Wikipedia.
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Overstock Board of Directors??????

Patrick Byrne, Overstock.com CEO has surprised me

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After all the corporate crimes I’ve seen in the last 13-or-so years, it takes a lot to surprise me. Really, it does.

But Patrick Byrne, the nutty CEO of Overstock.com has suprised me. Now, I’d like to think that my threshhold for surprise is pretty high with him. I mean, this is the guy who talks about Sith Lord conspiracies on official, recorded conference calls with Wall Street. So you pretty much have to expect stupid things out of him. Continue reading

The SEC cares when CEOs post on message boards using pseudonyms????

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Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com O.coNote to Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com: Read carefully please.

Note to readers: Check out Gary Weiss’s comments on this situation.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an informal inquiry into the message board postings of Whole Foods Market Inc.’s CEO John Mackey. Mackey has allegedly been posting on Yahoo stock boards using a pseudonym for the last 8 years. His postings included pumping Whole Foods’ stock, praising the company’s financial results, and bashing a company Whole Foods wanted to acquire. Continue reading