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(Reuters) - Overstock.com Chief Executive Patrick Byrne appeared in an unusual full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal on Saturday "congratulating" Steven A. Cohen on the indictment of his SAC Capital Advisors hedge fund by federal prosecutors on insider trading charges.
In the ad, Byrne, who has made critical comments about big hedge funds such as SAC Capital in the past, is holding what appears to be the skull of a Sith Lord, a villain from the "Star Wars" film series.
"Congratulations on the indictment, Stevie, and remember: roll early, roll often," Byrne says in the ad.
U.S. prosecutors on Thursday accused SAC Capital Advisors LP of encouraging employees to flout the law and tap their personal contacts for insider information about publicly traded companies. Cohen was not charged personally in the indictment filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.
A spokesman for SAC Capital could not be reached for comment on Saturday.
The hedge fund pleaded not guilty on Friday. SAC also issued a statement denying it ever promoted or tolerated insider trading.
The federal indictment made no mention of trading in shares of Overstock.com (OSTK.O), an online retailer based in Salt Lake City.
An Overstock.com spokesman could not be reached for comment.
Byrne has been coy about saying who is the Sith Lord he contends is behind aggressive shorting of shares of companies such as Overstock. In the ad, Byrne seems to suggest Cohen is the Sith Lord he has talked about in past years.
In the "Star Wars" film series, Sith Lords possess special knowledge of the Dark Side.
Reporting by Susan Kelly in Chicago; Editing by Mohammad Zargham