Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Grotesque Story Gets Grotesquer

News emerged today that the California Court of Appeals knocked down Gradient Analytics's effort to toss out's junk lawsuit. No surprise here. Gradient is appealing. No surprise. Overstock will be coming out with a (no doubt suitably juvenile) press release soon. No surprise.

But here's the latest twist from a company that always manages to sink to new lows:

I know that Overstock has an upcoming press release coming down the pike because I read about it on a limited-circulation message board, in an anonymous post.

Here's the post:

This is unsigned, but I know from previous posts that the author of this post is none other than the glassy-eyed individual at the top of this item:'s nauseating Director of Communications and resident stalker, Judd Bagley.

Reading atrocities like this makes me wonder: Does the SEC ever plan to do anything about Overstock's constant nose-thumbing at Regulation FD?

The "report abuse" link at the bottom right corner of the post links to the crackerjack management team of Investor Village. Given Overstock's track record, it should take one instead directly to the SEC's Division of Enforcement.

UPDATE: Sure enough, the reigning clown of corporate America issued a press release filled with all kinds of "oh my goodness" shock value. Byrne says he "celebrates" the court ruling, much as he had "celebrated" the SEC subpoena of his company -- the one that came one week before the subpoena of him that he failed to disclose for a year.

Funny how Byrne "celebrates" opportunities for his serial lies, inept performance and misconduct to be subjected to the third degree by hostile attorneys and by the SEC. I haven't seen this much raw, blustering defiance of SEC scrutiny since the days of Bob Brennan of First Jersey Securities.

Herb Greenberg's take on the latest tidings can be found here. Herb notes that the case centers around a character named Dimetrios Anifantis:

Yes, that's the same Dimetrios Anifantis whose declaration -- "under the penalty of perjury" -- inolved an outright disregard for the truth when it came to testimony about yours truly.

That's right -- they've tried to drag the press into this for daring to raise red flags over the company's precarious prospects. My early writeups included this, which harkens back to the origination of Overstock's fight with Gradient (then Cambelback Research), and this. And if you haven't read my write-ups on Anifantis' antics previously, you can read them here and here and here. If his recollection of the fact and his feeble efforts and inuendo are as bad about everybody else in his line of fire, you have to wonder how credible Anifantis really is as a witness. Could that be one reason the SEC, with its subpoena power, recentlly dropped its case against Gradient?

Let's not forget how Anifantis's Senate testimony was scripted by, in one of the many creepy episodes in this corporate train wreck.

Thanks to the indulgence of the California courts, this nutty, dangerous, junk lawsuit is being allowed to proceed. But much as I regret the legal bills it is inflicting on the defendants, I look forward to watching this legal circus, and the resultant discovery proceedings, as they progress.

© 2007 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.


Wall Street Versus America was published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site,

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