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<p>Overstock.com has made headlines by charging in a lawsuit that a hedge fund and a research firm conspired to drive down Overstock's shares. The research firm is Gradient Analytics, whose cofounder and research head, Donn Vickrey, works from Carlsbad and was once an accounting professor at the University of San Diego. Overstock has charged that Herb Greenberg, resident of Carmel Valley, columnist for the Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch.com, and commentator for CNBC, has worked with Vickrey to run down the stock, although Greenberg has never been charged in a suit. The successor to the hedge fund, Copper River, has filed a counterclaim against Overstock, saying it has been trying to draw attention from its own failures by making "false and disparaging accusations" against its critics, as well as filing a meritless lawsuit. Fortune Magazine reports that Overstock's cumulative losses to date exceed $238 million. It has never had a profitable year.

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