Speaking on the Salt TV Network recently, President and CEO of Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) Patrick Byrne referred to his company as “bold” and revealed that, in November 2010, after four years of fighting, a judge forced Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) to turn over some documents that prompted Overstock to re-file its suit against Goldman as a RICO [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt organisations] action.
The case went before a hearing and it has been approved.
“The laws that got written in the ’80s to allow the feds to go after organised crime – the lawyers can now look at what they did,” said Byrne. “There is nothing about RICO that says you have got to use a gun. This was a highly organised crime.”
Byrne went on to say that he feels Americans are living in an oligarchy. “There are two power centres in this country – Wall Street and Washington D.C., and Wall Street has really got Washington D.C. under its thumb,” said Byrne. “Five years ago, people thought I was a lunatic to say that, and now it is trivially obvious. That means that you can not count on Washington. You can not count on the regulators, you can not count on the Senate Banking Committee, and you can not count on the New York-based financial press. The only thing that is going to fix this is to get them in front of 12 Americans in a jury room. That is the only thing they can not buy in America.”
In response, a Goldman Sachs Statement said that the motion is “the latest attempt by Overstock to shift the blame for its poor share price performance.”
Byrne reacted by saying that, after making $8 million last year, profits are up nicely this year. “We have a nice, fine little company running here,” said Byrne. “Goldman just took a $600 billion bailout out of the federal coffers to keep them afloat. So that is a funny statement coming from Goldman.”
The case will be heard before a jury on December 5, 2011. “It is going to be the OJ Simpson trial of the financial world,” said Byrne. “It will be heard in California, in San Francisco. It will be exciting. I have said publically that I will not settle.
It would be treason for me to settle. It would be like asking a Jewish person, how much would you settle with Hitler for? There is really no number. It is not that complicated a case. I am hearing that it is only going to take a few weeks. It is very simple. There are emails and a bunch of data – it is just about presenting it all to a jury.”