Patrick M. Byrne
Chairman and CEO
For six years Overstock.com has waged a war to expose Wall Street mischief. We did not go looking for a fight, but our company was attacked, and we learned we were not alone: the same manipulation-for-profit tools that Wall Street had deployed against us had also been deployed against many American companies, harming job creation, innovation, and economic growth. We knew that if left unchecked and unexposed, Wall Street's games could ultimately damage U.S. capital markets.
So in 2005 and 2007 we filed two lawsuits. The first case was against a hedge fund (Rocker Partners) and hatchet-job-for-hire research team (Gradient Analytics), both with ties to Jim Cramer. The second case was against a group of eleven Wall Street prime brokers, culminating in Goldman Sachs. The hedge fund in question (Rocker Partners) hired famed lawyer David Boies, and the prime brokers showed up with an army of the most prestigious law firms in America. Our lawyers were Dore Griffinger, Ellen Cirangle, Jonathan Sommer and Catherine Jackson of Stein & Lubin, a small but excellent San Francisco law firm.
We won the hedge fund case against Gradient and Rocker, extracting an apology, a retraction and over $5 million in cash (it felt good to beat David Boies' firm). In our prime broker case, one of the Wall Street banks (Lehman Brothers) has gone under (two, Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch were sold at fire sale prices), and another seven paid us millions to let them out.
That leads us to the main event this coming March, when O.co will square off against Goldman Sachs and Bank of America subsidiary, Merrill Lynch, in a San Francisco courtroom. Recently, we uncovered evidence of collusive action between Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and other Wall Street bad guys, in a scheme designed to fool regulators and profit illegally at the expense of O.co. As a result of this, in December 2010, we moved to add a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act claim and requested treble damages, but the court denied our motion, though we firmly believe the conduct of Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch was "racketeering" and "corrupt." Nevertheless, we are moving forward: trial is scheduled to commence March 5, 2012. At trial we will hold Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch accountable and expose to public view a slew of illegal Wall Street practices, some of which, practiced in the broader market, have been responsible for the current economic downturn.
This messages and message links contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the conduct at issue in the lawsuit described, related claims and forecasted process, including trial and any outcome. Overstock.com, Inc.'s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, its subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, or any amendments thereto, and its other subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission identify important factors that could cause its actual results to differ materially from those contained in its projections, estimates or forward-looking statements.