Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Patrick Byrne and His Three Stooges

Overstock's star witnesses

One of my favorite movies when I was a kid was The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze. I was thinking of that movie today as I read an item in Sam Antar's blog entitled "Patrick Byrne and his Three Stooges."

Instead of Moe, Larry and Curly, we have Demetrios Anifantis, Robert Ballash, and Darryl Smith, former employees of Gradient Analytics who figure in Overstock's junk lawsuit against Gradient and Rocker Partners.

In his blog item, Sam analyzes -- as in "rips to shreds" -- their "conflicting, inconsistent, and contradictory allegations." Note that Overstock's wack-a-doo CEO, Patrick Byrne, co-stars as straight man (and script writer, it would seem).

After reading Sam's item, you will wonder, as I have, why Byrne is "celebrating" a lawsuit in which his principal witness are these three characters. Is he taht detached from reality?

While it is a shame that Gradient and Rocker have to spend thousands of dollars defending themselves from Byrne's schlock claims, there is no question that civil discovery proceedings will be in the public interest. They will aid the SEC's investigation into the company as well (and vice versa, of course).

Junk lawsuits are bad, but this one is going to be interesting.

© 2007 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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Wall Street Versus America was published by Penguin USA on April 6.
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