By Stacie Clifford Kitts, CPA
If you are a regular reader of Stacie’s More Tax Tips, you know that Patrick Byrne CEO of Overstock.com (or at least someone claiming to be Patrick Byrne) commented on my post, They Wield Their Personal Knowledge of Criminal Activity Like A Superpower .
Since I can’t verify that the person who wrote the comment was really Mr. Byrne CEO, in this post I am going to refer to the commenter as “PB.”
Now, the purpose of PB’s comment was to clarify some of the stuff I discussed in the post I mention above. The following is what he wrote:
Thanks for the story and the link. There are, however, some minor suggestions I’d make. You say:
“and a purported owner of a website called Deepcapture.com.”
Actually, for much of its existence we just put a big bubble on the upper right hand corner of the home page explaining that I am indeed the funder of DeepCapture.com; later, we added a whole page about it and who we are . So there is nothing “purported” about it. (In one more example of the Bad Guys’ mendacity, any time I mention this in an interview they write blogs pretending that it is some huge matter that I had previously kept hidden, presumably because they think suggestible people will fall for it.)
“The purpose of Deepcapture is to expose the short sellers who are trying to make money off the decline in value of Overstock.com.”
No, the purpose of DeepCapture is to expose the stock manipulators who are ruining our capital markets (most of whom have never had anything to do with overtock, as far as I know).
“But really, what could be more interesting and telling than this disclosure from Sam Antar…”
Here’s one thing that is more interesting about Sam Antar
I hope that the information provided by PB clears up any confusion about Deepcapture and its purpose. – so there ya go. I don’t suppose I need to make any more comments on the subject.
Before I move on, I would like to point out one thing about PB’s comment that did provide some amusement.
It seems clear that PB wants to make sure that my readers and I are aware that Mr. Antar is not a nice guy.
If you click the link at the end of the last sentence you will be taken to an article written by Patrick Byrne describing Mr. Antar’s recent and past behavior. Basically we are told that Mr. Antar is a very bad, and maybe even an evil, guy.
This article and PB’s reference to it just struck me as funny. Frankly, I was LMAO. Yes folks, Sam Antar a former Crazy Eddie fraudster is a bad guy. For havens sake this is not news. Given the opportunity Sam Antar admits he would still be a bad guy, he would still be committing fraud, and the only reason he stopped is because he got caught.
Hello – these are exactly the reasons why I think Sam Antar and other former fraudsters have a powerful fraud spotting superpower.
Honestly, if I found out that Sam was guilty of recent crimes, my answer would be – so what. That would not negate his ability to spot his own kind or the signs of possible fraud.
Besides, I keep asking myself, what the motivation for the attack on Mr. Byrne is. Patrick Byrne does not give any reasons why Sam Antar might have targeted him. Maybe Patrick can enlighten me to his thoughts as to that point.
My take is pretty simple – it might just be because he could. After all, Mr. Byrne has made himself quite an easy target.
Case in point – have you read any of the recent information coming out about Overstock.com and an apparent lack of internal controls?
If I understand this correctly, an investigative reporter Roddy Boyd got his hands on some internal Overstock.com documents that had been part of the discovery process related to a lawsuit initiated by Overstock.com. These internal documents supposedly imply that Overstock.com’s internal controls were not effective. This is a real problem because Overstock.com indicates in its SEC filings that the internal controls are adequate.
What does this mean? Well, basically if you have established proper controls, your internal processes, including things like supervision, flow of paperwork, accounting systems, how things are tracked and recorded- heck -basically every aspect of your financial process is set up to ensure the accuracy (so to catch or prevent mistakes) of the financial information. Therefore, in auditor terms, if you find that your controls are working – that is they are catching or preventing errors – you might report, “internal controls are adequate to meet control objectives.”
Obviously lying in an SEC filing is a NO NO. If this is determined to be the case (i.e. controls are not working and management knew it), Mr. Byrne may have some explainin’ to do.
Here is a lesson on making yourself an easy target, lie to the SEC and then file a lawsuit where your internal company documents will expose the lie. DUH
If you want to read more about this check out these posts: