Industry News

Former Homestore exec pleads guilty to fraud

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Peter Tafeen, a former Homestore executive, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of securities fraud for his participation in a scheme to artificially inflate company revenues, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California has announced. As a part of his plea agreement, Tafeen, 36, agreed to testify against Stuart Wolff, 42, a former Homestore CEO who is also facing federal charges for allegedly participating in fraudulent transactions to boost the company's stock performance. As a result of his guilty plea, Tafeen faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. A total of 10 former Homestore employees have pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to the fraudulent "round-trip" transactions. Two of the defendants who have pleaded guilty admitted in court documents that Homestore shareholders suffered losses of at least $100 million when the company's stock price dropped in 2002 upon news of an investigation into accounting irregularities. All 10 defendants...