Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yet Another Road Map for Regulators


Will the SEC revoke Byrne's "Get Out of Jail Free" card?

I've used the expression "road map for regulators" at least twice in describing how white collar crime-fighter Sam Antar has exposed the phony accounting used by the corporate crime petri dish Overstock.com. Sam's latest post this morning describes the latest sleight of hand CEO Patrick Byrne has used to juggle the numbers.

Sam lays out in detail how Byrne was only able to report a "profit" in the most recent quarter, which sent share prices climbing, by violating Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and other smoke and mirrors.

As William Wolfrum points out, Byrne has had a busy week, trolling Internet message boards and unleashing his attack dog Judd Bagley on critics. As usual. But "the real story is in the financial reports," as Wolfrum points out. The rest is just icing on the cake.

As usual, the question is whether the SEC will take action, or continue to give Byrne a "get out of jail free" card that he uses every fiscal quarter.

There. Two metaphors for the price of one.

© 2009 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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