Overstock.com CEO Claims Involvement In ‘Russian Investigation’

Aug 15, 2019, 6:11 AM | Updated: Aug 16, 2019, 2:24 pm

MIDVALE, Utah – Company stock prices at locally-headquartered Overstock.com have seen a dramatic drop since CEO Patrick Byrne made controversial statements in reference to the Russian investigation.

The company, which employees more than 1000 people, saw a 36 percent drop in its stock prices following the statement’s release on Monday.

KSL spoke with a few employees who expressed they were not concerned about their CEO’s statements.

“Honestly, knowing Patrick for the last 8 years, he’s eccentric but he’s a good CEO so I don’t really think it matters,” said Heath Shurtleff, who has worked at Overstock for several years.

Another employee, who asked not to be named, said, “I kind of admire him for his energy and for just the fun things he shares, but I also don’t really read his emails because I know they’re usually weird.”

Byrne’s statement posted on the company website, on Monday August 12, stated the following:

“Sara Carter has published two articles relating the following claims of mine:

  1. Starting in 2015 I (operating under the belief that I was helping legitimate law enforcement efforts) assisted in what are now known as the ‘Clinton Investigation’ and the ‘Russian Investigation’ (in fact, I am the notorious ‘missing Chapter 1’ of the Russian investigation). It was the third time in my life I helped the Men in Black: the first was when my friend Brian Williams was murdered, and the second was when I helped the M.I.B. shake up Wall Street a decade ago. Unfortunately, this third time turned out to be less about law enforcement and more about political espionage conducted against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (and to a lesser degree, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz).
  2. In July 2018 I put the pieces together. I immediately (last July) came forward to a Congressman and a senior military officer, to the Department of Justice this April, and (upon my Omaha Rabbi reminding me of my duty as a citizen late this June) to a small set of journalists this summer. Ms. Carter was among them. Her two stories are accurate.

Having confirmed Ms. Carter’s two articles, I have fulfilled those citizenship obligations of which my Rabbi reminded me. I will speak no more on the subject. Instead, having lived in places lacking Rule of Law and having witnessed the consequences of its absence, I plan on sitting back and watching the United States Department of Justice re-establish Rule of Law in our country.”

The statement comes in reference to two articles published by freelance journalist Sara Carter on her website SaraCarter.com. The articles claim, among other things, that Byrne sustained a romantic relationship with a Russian woman Maria Butina who was convicted for her role as a secret agent for Russia.

Byrne claimed the relationship developed under the direction of the FBI whom he refers to as the “men in black” saying he helped them on three occasions.

FILE: Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne (Photo: Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

FILE: Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne (Photo: Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

Company stock prices saw a 36 percent drop from $26 on Monday to $15.58 on Wednesday.

However, prices seemed to be recovering on Thursday indexing at $18.60 this afternoon.

“His words don’t represent what we do as a company, it will come back up, it will go down, that is just the market,” stated a third company employee who also asked not to be named.

KSL 5 news spoke with a company spokesperson on Thursday afternoon who stated, “The company released the statement on behalf of Patrick, and he stands by his word. However, that represents his personal views on the matter. Overstock remains independent of the situation.”

The FBI declined commentary.

Overstock.com is planning on celebrating their 20th anniversary next Tuesday. Company CEO Patrick Byrne is expected to speak at the event.

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Overstock.com CEO Claims Involvement In ‘Russian Investigation’