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Feds to drop some charges in Wolff case

Former Homestore exec claims some evidence modified

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Government prosecutors have moved to drop four charges that former Homestore.com Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stuart Wolff misled the company's accounting firm about "round-trip" advertising deals that later forced the company to restate millions of dollars in earnings.The move follows accusations by Wolff's attorneys that employees of the accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, modified or destroyed evidence in the case, which the company denies (see story).In a motion to dismiss four counts of a 23-count criminal indictment of Wolff, prosecutors said issues raised by his defense team have "some merit," but do not "exculpate Wolff for his involvement" in an alleged "fraud scheme" to deceive Homestore investors.Prosecutors say they don't need to call witnesses from the accounting firm to the stand in order to prove Wolff's criminal intent, because three former Homestore executives who pled guilty and served prison sentences are expected ...