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

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

In Agreement: Overstock.com Sucks and Patrick Byrne is Wacky

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Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com O.coI’ve written plenty here about perpetual money-loser Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) and its wacky CEO Patrick Byrne. Unfortunately, I’ve mostly lost interest in the topic. Why? It’s the same old, same old.

Overstock.com continuously loses money for shareholders. Byrne pretends that profits are right around the corner. More money is lost. Dishonest accounting tricks are used to pretend the company made money. Financials are restated. More money is lost. Financials are restated again. More money is lost…

You see a pattern, I hope? Continue reading

When Money Talks, Mark Shurtleff Listens

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How much does it cost to get Mark Shurtleff, Utah’s Attorney General, to lie for you? Apparently only $5,000. What a bargain!

Today Sam Antar has an enlightening piece on his blog, entitled “Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) CEO Patrick Byrne Pays Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff to Defame a Blogger.” It details a situation in which a $5,000 Overstock.com campaign contribution to Shurtleff was followed immediately by public lies by Shurtleff. And there’s plenty of evidence to support the claim that Shurtleff blatantly lied. Continue reading

Details on the Overstock.com Cyberstalking and Spyware Campaign

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Judd Bagley, cyberstalker at Overstock.comA couple of weeks ago, I commented on a post that Judd Bagley, chief Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) stalker and “Deep Capture reporter” made on the InvestorVillage message board for Overstock. He stated there: “…my first master stroke was getting a tracking cookie placed on the laptop computer of Dan Schoenherr…”

I thought it might be important to revisit the cyberstalking and spyware tactics used by Judd, with a little help from Scipio Africanus, a blogger who did much to expose dirty tactics used by supporters of Overstock.com. Continue reading

Overstock Continues to Mislead Investors With Phony EBITDA Calculation

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Patrick Byrne Naked Short SellingIn the past, I’ve discussed the improper EBITDA numbers reported by Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK). It comes as no surprise that the con game continues with Overstock’s latest reported numbers.

The SEC rules are very simple. “EBITDA” refers to a specific calculation, which is “earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.” Overstock.com and CEO Patrick Byrne have taken liberties with this number, in violation of guidance provided by the SEC on the issue. Continue reading

Gradient Scores Huge Victory in Court Against Overstock.com

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COURT RULES THAT GRADIENT ANALYTICS’ CROSS-COMPLAINT MAY PROCEED AGAINST OVERSTOCK.COM, INC. ON ALL COUNTS
AMENDED CLAIMS TO BE FILED AGAINST OVERSTOCK CEO PATRICK BYRNE

Scottsdale, July 10, 2008

Gradient Analytics, Inc. announced today that the Marin County Superior Court has ruled in the case of Overstock.com, Inc., v. Gradient that all of Gradient’s cross-claims against Overstock (NASDAQ:OSTK), including claims for defamation, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, and unfair business practices, may proceed, thereby rejecting Overstock’s challenge to certain of those claims. Continue reading