SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Overstock.com, Inc. today announced that it filed its amended complaint against defendants Goldman Sachs and Bank of America subsidiary Merrill Lynch. The amended complaint includes a claim under New Jersey's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Civil RICO claims carry the possibility of treble damages.
Overstock.com announced in December it had applied to the court to allow the RICO claim. That amended complaint has now been filed, and Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch have 30 days to answer or challenge the amended complaint.
Jonathan Johnson, President of Overstock.com, stated, "Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch and some of their market maker clients agreed to and created a scheme to effect the naked short selling in our securities in order to drive down the price of our stock to their mutual profit. It's nice that neither Goldman nor Merrill Lynch contested our motion. We are now working to assure our racketeering claims can come before a jury."
Patrick Byrne, Chairman and CEO of Overstock.com, added, "I am really going to enjoy watching Goldman Sachs try to justify its nefarious schemes to a jury box with 12 Americans in it."
The San Francisco action, first filed in February 2007, alleged prime broker defendants engaged in naked short selling and similar manipulative practices designed to profit from failing to deliver shares required to close trades, and that this resulted in downward pressure on Overstock.com's share price.
As part of the amending of the complaint, the court moved the trial date from September 12, 2011 to December 5, 2011.