A few months ago, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne got into an exchange with Jeff Matthews about the supposed existence of an Israeli mafia. (This discussion pre-dates his defense against more recent allegations of anti-Semitism.) In a post about the exchange, Matthews points out that Byrne is on record pointing to the “Israeli mob” (presumably among others–Sith Lords, etc.) as one of the conspirators in the alleged naked shorting movement against him. Byrne responds:
Jeff omits precisely the part of the quote that makes the connection, and that is, after I mentioned the Italian, Russian, and Israeli mobs, and the discussed the Russian mob, the interviewer said/asked, “I didn’t know Israel had a mob?” To which I replied that, yes it does: for example, it is widely thought to control the US ecstasy trade.
The relevant quote from the transcript of an interview Byrne did with the Christian Financial News Network:
The Israeli mob–in fact I was just reading Ha’aretz, which is an Israeli newspaper, ah, and a very good one, and you can Google this–If you Google “ectasy Israeli mafia” you’ll find articles that basically the Israeli mob…is thought to control 75% of the ecstasy trade in the U.S.”
Which begs the question: why would Byrne be Googling “ecstasy Israeli mafia” in the first place? Possibly because of this: [From the Salt Lake Tribune, May 26, 2002]
In another Utah case, Holly McDonald-Korth was allegedly receiving shipments of Ecstasy from Antwerp Belgium, according to a search warrant filed by Salt Lake City police investigators… On paper, McDonald-Korth appears nothing like a drug dealer. She was enrolled in private school as a teen and then attended the University of Michigan before graduating with honors from the university of Miami with a degree in finance, according to court documents. After graduation, McDonald-Korth went to work for the Federal Reserve in Washington. The 25-year-old came to Utah 18 months later after obtaining a job as an analyst for Overstock.com
The ecstasy dealer who presents the biggest threat to Overstock isn’t, as it turns out an Israeli mobster. It’s their current SVP in charge of Overstock Auctions.