Patrick Byrne, the former CEO of Overstock.com, had been busy with not only business and politics but also dating a Russian spy girlfriend in the recent past.

The Fort Wayne, Indiana native, who launched Overstock.com in 1999, gained $1.8 billion in revenues in 2016. In addition to that, he was set to change the entire system of trade and settlement with his association with blockchain, a digital recording system difficult to tamper with, and bitcoins.

On his way to transforming the world with blockchain, he met a certain spy who left a strong impression. As every story has a beginning, Byrne and the woman started with a fateful encounter in Las Vegas.

Bryan now claims that he the FBI asked him to generate information on her after he informed them about her Russian connections.  

Patrick Byrne Says He And Butina Were Set Up to Meet

No surprises here, Byrne’s spy girlfriend was none other than Maria Butina, a gun-rights activist from Russia who went to an American University.

The pair had a fateful introduction at the libertarian conference in Las Vegas in 2015. This encounter spiraled into a passionate conversation about guns and politics. With mutual interests and a plethora of attractions, they grew closer to each other in three years.

Patrick Byrne and Maria Butina (Source: Instagram)

But years later, in 2019, came the revelation. The now 58-year-old Patrick Byrne claimed that he had been meeting with the Department of Justice and working as a government informant feeding information on Maria. According to him, the FBI/ the agents of The Men in Black first assigned him the task of having a romantic relationship with the Russian spy.

Not only that, when Maria invited Patrick to Russia to give a speech on St. Petersberg on Blockchain, the FBI forbade him from going because he had to be elsewhere. However, three months later, in July, the agents said they made a mistake and requested Byrne to rekindle a romantic relationship with Maria Butina.  

The Fall Of Byrne's Russian Spy Girlfriend

When Byrnes and Butina were in a romantic relationship, they were also allegedly involved in the 2016 elections. Butina's involvement, and the fact that she wasn't a national citizen, lead to controversies about her being a Russian spy. As a result, she was sentenced to 18 months in prison. However, in October 2019, Butina was released and immediately deported back to Russia.

Before her release, Byrnes made claims that the FBI was behind his relationship with Maria. After making that claim and many others, on August 22, 2019, Byrne withdrew from his post of CEO of Overstock.com. He didn’t want his business to suffer due to his involvement.

Patrick Byrnes in his Overstock.com office (Source: Google

Even after Maria’s imprisonment, Byrne claimed he was still fond of her. He then remarked, "Maria should go home and be president of Russia one day...That is the best thing that could happen to Russia and the U.S.”