I put the word executive in quotes because I don’t think anyone in their right mind really considers Judd Bagley an executive at Overstock.com (NASDQ: OSTK). He is the smearmeister for Patrick Byrne. They like to call him an investigative reporter, but his investigation skills lack one critical element: accuracy.
This weekend, Judd, “Director of Communications” at Overstock.com was patting himself on the back for what he thought was a good bit of investigative work. Turns out he took a few facts, threw in several falsehoods, and drew erroneous conclusions that he’s now proclaiming as truth around the world wide web.
Judd’s primary duty at Overstock.com seems to be stalking and smearing those who ask questions about the company and those who point out “unusual” things in the company’s financial statements. Never mind that the company is a total POS: always losing money and burning through cash faster than Patrick Byrne can say “burn those kids.”
Overstock is announcing earnings this week, and what better time for Judd to crawl out from under his rock than now… there must be some awful information coming! This is the company’s usual M.O…. divert your attention away from the crappy performance.
So what’s Judd’s massive revelation? He’s decided that Sam Antar gave Barry Minkow $250,000, which originally belonged to Attorney Howard Sirota, and together the three conspired to illegally manipulate the stock of Usana Health Sciences (NASDAQ: USNA).
And what’s the truth? Sam Antar gave Barry Minkow some money (I’m not sure how much, but I know it was six figures). The money was Sam’s. He gave it to Barry because. Because why? Because he wanted to. Barry used the money to fund the Fraud Discovery Institute, the fraud investigation firm he co-founded. At the time the firm received the money, the company being investigated by FDI was Usana Health Sciences. The investigation turned up negative information on Usana, which was truthfully reported.
So where, exactly, is this big scandal that Judd is alluding to? Quite simply, there isn’t one. The last time I checked, people in the United States of America were allowed to give their money to whomever they wanted, for just about any reason. Sam really doesn’t owe anyone an explanation about why he gave the money to Barry. This reason is good enough for me: Because he wanted to.
And Judd made reference to some tax liens that Sam Antar had. Too bad he didn’t finish investigating to find out that they’ve been released.
Now, can we get back to the business of busting the real scam artists? The ones running pyramid schemes that bilk consumers out of millions of dollars a year? The ones like Usana, and Herbalife, and Mary Kay?
And by the way… if you doubt what a dirtbag Judd Bagley is, check out this post from Gary Weiss about his little pretexting escapades. That should get you thinking. If that’s not enough, how about Judd’s practice of embedding spyware in his posts on message boards so he can track what pages viewers are looking at (of course without the knowledge of the viewers)? Spend some time reading about Overstock on Gary’s site and on Sam’s site. That will give you a good feel for what kind of scumbags we’re dealing with.