Patrick Byrne’s dramatic exit from Overstock.com Inc. had a surprise second act Wednesday, as the former chief executive sold his large stake in the company and blamed the Securities and Exchange Commission, which he referred to as “the Deep State’s pets.”
In an SEC filing Wednesday afternoon, Byrne disclosed the disposal of his roughly 4.8 million shares in Overstock shares during the past three trading sessions, with all but 87,000 shares sold on the open market for roughly $90 million. The remainder was given as a gift to an undisclosed recipient.
The longtime chief executive left Overstock in late August after proclaiming in a corporate news release that he had an affair with a convicted Russian agent and had provided important information to the U.S. Justice Department about Russian involvement in U.S. politics. He left behind plans for a “digital dividend” set for next week that could only be accessed through Overstock’s experimental blockchain-based exchange, and required the holder to retain the asset for six months, which many thought to be an attempt to squeeze short sellers, with whom Byrne has frequently battled publicly.