Patrick Byrne Employee Stalks Critic on NPR
Patrick Byrne's shill Bagley gives NPR a taste of what it's like
UPDATE: Judd Bagley copped a plea to eight drug felonies in April 2013. See "Closing the File on a Criminal and Junkie Named Judd Bagley," March 30, 2015.
White collar crime-fighter Sam Antar, who masterminded the Crazy Eddie stock swindle and now fights his former ilk, has been all over the media lately. He was interviewed by National Public Radio recently and was then the subject of an NPR.com blog post entitled, "Inside The Mind Of A Financial Criminal."
Sam has long since mended his ways and now fights financial crime. So who turns up in the comments but a genuine, active stock market miscreant, Judd Bagley, who is paid by Overstock.com's wacky CEO Patrick Byrne to harass his critics. Sam has been a persistent critic of Overstock's accounting and of Byrne's behavior, including his employment of Bagley.
Bagley posted a comment falsely accusing Sam of being a "current stock manipulator." Nowhere in his post does he disclose that he is employed by one of Sam's target's, or that he was Overstock.com's p.r. director until recently and is now employed directly by Byrne to do stuff like post nasty comments about critics of his boss.
Talk about stock manipulation. That smells like it to me. NPR deleted the post, though its shadow remains on the site.
Bagley posted his trash again and it was deleted again. Hey, that's how he makes his living.
But he didn't give up. This guy works hard for his salary. He then vented his frustrations on a stock message board, calling for his fellow stock pumpers to descend upon the NPR message board.
Why all the expenditure of energy?
Sam has been actively exposing Overstock's cheesy accounting, and recent posts have shown that Overstock has only been able to generate a slim "profit" by using smoke-and-mirrors card tricks that violate Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
Overstock has fought back, not by addressing Sam's points but by unleashing this creepy, amoral nightcrawler, a former flack for a Jeb Bush commissioner who specialized in personally attacking reporters in Florida.
Sam didn't utter a word about Overstock, Byrne or the nauseating Bagley in his broadcast report. This was purely a case of gratuitous (and repeated) character assassination on the part of someone who makes his living by doing so.
Overstock has a market capitalization of about $290 million, which isn't bad at all for a company with a breathtakingly inept CEO, has a negative net worth, and has burned through all of its capital. You have to wonder, how much of this market cap is attributable to Byrne silencing his critics through tactics like this?
UPDATE: Byrne, taking a break from running his company into the ground, weighed in on the NPR message board. His comment was promptly deleted. I wonder if the media dummies who give this guy a platform are aware of the kind of nut he is. Are memories that short?
© 2009 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.