Short Seller Marc Cohodes About Face on Overstock

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BFFs Marc Cohodes and Patrick Byrne

Former hedge fund manager Marc Cohodes has been a long-time critic of Overstock.com and its wacky CEO, Patrick Byrne. The criticism dates back to the days when Cohodes was at Rocker Partners, a company that was sued by Overstock along with research firm Gradient Analytics. In 2005, Cohodes was fingered by Byrne as being part of a “miscreants ball” under the direction of a “Sith Lord.” Yet after more than a decade with a negative opinion of the company and its management, Cohodes recently did an about face.

Is money fueling the change of heart?

Sam Antar, another long-time critic of Overstock, details the Cohodes/Overstock situation nicely on his blog. The crux of the issue is that Cohodes (who has been focused on short selling) took a long position in Overstock in May 2017. A month later, Cohodes met personally with Byrne. In October, Cohodes hyped the company during a presentation at a Grant’s Interest Rate Observer conference, and said that Byrne is now his friend. Continue reading

Overstock.com Report on TheStreetSweeper

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TheStreetSweeper, a site investigates and reports on public companies, released a report last week on Overstock.com. The article, called “Under Surveillance,” said that the company’s stock is massively overvalued. The stock price shot up when Overstock jumped on the cryptocurrency bandwagon:

Overstock’s crypto-fueled stock surge began in August, after the online retailer began allowing shoppers to pay with bitcoin and other digital tokens.

In September, the company announced plans for an exchange to trade tokens.

In October, the CEO announced a subsidiary, tZero, intends to hold an ICO – initial coin offering – from Nov. 15 until Dec. 31. Rather than shares of stock, digital tokens would be issued in the private placement.

Continue reading

China MediaExpress: Massive Fraud or Victim of Short Sellers?

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UPDATE: In March 2011, CFO Jacky Lam of China Media Express and the auditors (Deloitte) resigned. Deloitte said they could no longer rely on the representations of management, and they suggested an investigation was in order. Ping Luo, the analyst from Global Hunter who gave CCME rave reviews resigned. Maurice Greenberg’s Starr Investments sued CCME for fraudulently inducing it to invest $13.5 million. The stock was delisted from the NASDAQ in May 2011.

Deloitte raised the following issues: questionable authenticity of bank statements, supicioius bank confirmation procedures, existence of advertisers/customers, undisclosed bank accounts and bank loans, financial filings with the State Administration of Industry and Commerce differing from information provided to auditors, questionable authenticity of tax filing documents, cash payments to employees, and double counting of buses.

As I have found out all too well in the last two years, those who are critical of public companies risk retaliation. Retailing failure Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) has spent years perfecting their methods of stalking and intimidating anyone who dares to criticize their perpetual losses, their wackadoo CEO Patrick Byrne, the gross incompetence of management, and (most importantly) their fraudulent financial reporting.

I have a particular interest in multi-level marketing (MLM), and in publicly voicing my dislike of this bogus “business model,” have been subjected to retaliation from the companies themselves as well as individuals associated with the companies. The most vicious attack is by Medifast and its MLM division, Take Shape For Life (TSFL). I first became aware of Medifast via a small project for a client, but became interested in the company and how it was achieving extraordinarily good financial results. Continue reading

Overstock.com and Patrick Byrne Caught in Another Lie

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liarliarOverstock.com (NASDA:OSTK) is truly the gift that keeps on giving if you are a fraud investigator. The company and its wacky and incompetent CEO Patrick Byrne have been caught in yet another lie.

The antics of Overstock, Byrne, and paid stalkers Judd Bagley and Mark Mitchell have been documented over and over. I’ve really only touched the surface of this issue. Journalist Gary Weiss and reformed criminal Sam Antar have documented all the gory details. Continue reading

Overstock.com Stalks Critics, Hacks into Facebook Accounts, and Disproves Own Conspiracy Theory

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Judd Bagley Larry BergmanThe story about the Oversock.com theory that anyone who is “friends” on Facebook is part of a naked short selling conspiracy keeps getting weirder. It was bad enough that former Overstock.com employee and paid stalker (paid by OSTK CEO Patrick Byrne, nonetheless) Judd Bagley has created a database of Facebook users and their friend lists.

Bagley has gone further than anyone realized, but we should have expected this. This isn’t Bagley’s first crack at cyberstalking. He’s got a colorful history of doing so. And Patrick Byrne and Overstock are becoming rather famous for issuer retaliation… going after critics of public companies in order to hopefully scare them into silence. These activities go back to at least 2006.

Journalist Gary Weiss writes: Continue reading

Facebook “Friends” Are Co-Conspirators In Overstock.com Land

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Conspiracy-TheoriesIn the world of Patrick Byrne, CEO of flailing Overstock.com (NYSE:OSTK), his paid stalkers, and his nutty followers, anything and everything is evidence of a massive conspiracy on Wall Street. Involved in this massive conspiracy are “captured” journalists who “take orders” from hedge funds and help manipulate the stockmarket.

Remember the days when Byrne was claiming that his company’s poor stock price was a direct result of naked short selling of the company stock? And when that allegation couldn’t be proven and consistent poor financial results (even poor after the accounting department did a little magic on them each quarter) seemed to be the real reason the company’s stock hasn’t done well…. then the real story became the massive conspiracy on Wall Street. Continue reading

Grant Thornton to SEC: Overstock.com Is Lying

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Patrick Byrne of Overstock.comUPDATE: Overstock.com just issued a press release in which Patrick Byrne calls Grant Thornton a bunch of liars. Add them to his list of “miscreants.”

No longer can Patrick Byrne, wacky CEO of Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) claim that those pointing out his lies and materially misleading financial statements are just “miscreants,” operatives of an imaginary “Sith Lord,” or [insert any of a number of Jewish slurs that Byrne is prone to use].  Now national auditing firm Grant Thornton is calling Patrick Byrne and his clowns liars. He’s collecting quite a slew of admirers.

Yesterday, Overstock filed an 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding their firing of Grant Thornton. Here’s what Overstock.com has to say about the accounting issue that led to the firing, and I have placed in bold the most important part: Continue reading

Overstock.com: The Circus Continues

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Sam Antar has often referred to Overstock.com and CEO Patrick Byrne as the gifts that keep on giving. And he sure is right! There is never a dull moment when it comes to wacky conspiracy theories and accounting woes that never end.

Last week, Overstock (NASDAQ:OSTK) announced that it wouldn’t be filing its 10-Q for the third quarter on time. The reason? Patrick Byrne had created another clever (but completely wrong) accounting treatment for another accounting error recently discovered, and the auditors wouldn’t sign off on it. Continue reading

Overstock.com Admits They’re Clueless About the Accounting Rules

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This week Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) notified the public that they wouldn’t file their third quarter 10-Q on time. The reason:

The registrant has been unable to complete its financial statements for the quarter ended September 30, 2009, as it is continuing to analyze the proper accounting treatment for $785,000 the registrant received during the first quarter of 2009 as repayment  under a new agreement with the vendor for amounts the registrant overpaid to the vendor in 2008 and early 2009.  The registrant believes the amount is properly recognizable in the first quarter of 2009, when the cash was received.  However, the registrant is continuing to review the issue, and may ultimately conclude that the amount should have been recognized in 2008. Continue reading

Conservatism is no excuse for false financial statements, Overstock.com

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I’ve written extensively in the past about the train wreck that is Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) and its nutty CEO, Patrick Byrne.  Just when I think there couldn’t possibly be more to write about the horrible company and Byrne’s crazy antics, I’m proven wrong.

For those that have been following Overstock.com for the past few years, it came as a great surprise that the Securities and Exchange Commission decided to investigate the company and its financial reporting. It came as a surprise because for three years, Sam Antar (former CFO of Crazy Eddie and convicted felon) has been exposing their financial reporting misdeeds on his blog. Yet the SEC didn’t seem willing to take any action. Continue reading