Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne Spying On People--Again

Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne has had no issue violating the privacy of whistleblowers, journalists, bloggers and critics in its pretexting and smear campaign of recent years, which have been amply documented in the media and this blog. Overstock and its surrogates, such as its public relations spokesman Judd Bagley, have even waged war against their spouses families - their minor children included.

Iran used identical, illegal tactics to spy on American officials according to a Reuters report out today. It reported that Iranian hackers engaged in "an unprecedented, three-year cyber espionage campaign, Iranian hackers created false social networking accounts and a fake news website to spy on military and political leaders in the United States, Israel and other countries, a cyber intelligence firm said on Thursday."

Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne was years ahead of the Iranians in hiring thugs like Judd Bagley to set up phony news sites like Deep Capture and Anti-Social Media which were used to spread his delusional conspiracy theories and attack critics. Judd Bagley created fake social networking accounts on Facebook and stock market chat boards to intimidate, threaten, and harass critics. To add insult to injury, Law 360 reported that, “Judd Bagley, a representative for Overstock.com, said the company is investigating the claim, but believes that it lacks merit.”

Back in 2007, investigative journalist Roddy Boyd from the New York Post reported that Overstock.com CEO hired Judd Bagley to secretly stalk and conduct a smear campaign against critics on the web. Bagley used anonymous aliases on stock chat boards to attack critics of Byrne. He hacked into the accounts of stock chat board posters and implanted spyware in emails to improperly gain personal information on critics. He attempted to blackmail a tech savvy blogger who exposed his activities. John Carney from Dealbreaker referred to Judd Bagley as "Sleazy McSleaze."

Two years later, Patrick Byrne used his hired thug Judd Bagley to pretext journalists and critics (including me) to gather information about their family members (including minor children) and friends by setting up a phony profile on Facebook under the name Larry Bergman.

In 2009, I identified certain violations of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) by Overstock.com that allowed it to fabricate a Q4 2008 profit rather than properly report a loss in that quarter. Patrick Byrne retaliated by personally attacking me on a stock market chat board, during various earnings calls, and in the press in an effort to discredit me. The company stubbornly continued to overstate its reported income in the first three quarters of 2009. During that time, Bagley injected himself into my divorce proceedings, contacting my former spouse, as well as using illegal pretexting tactics to "friend" my children and relatives on Facebook using a phony account. This was clear retaliation for my pointing out the company's accounting violations. My work was vindicated when Overstock.com restated its financial reports after the Securities and Exchange Commission investigated its improper accounting practices.

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