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Texas Short Seller Fights China Fraud in $20 Billion U.S. Shares

On an April afternoon in 2009, in his home office near Austin, Texas, John Bird was hunched over his computer trying to figure out if a Chinese company some 6,500 miles away was anything close to what it claimed to be.

A silver-haired short seller, Bird, 62, projects an air of relaxed amusement. His philosophy is reflected in a sticker from "The Big Lebowski" over his door: "The Dude Abides..."