Industry News

Ex-Homestore CFO testifies against Wolff

Giesecke describes Wall Street-focused culture during dot-com heydays

LOS ANGELES--Federal prosecutors questioned a key witness Tuesday in an effort to build their case against former Homestore CEO Stuart Wolff, who is on trial here facing allegations of securities fraud and illegal insider trading of the company's stock. John Giesecke, Homestore's former CFO and then COO, testified about the company's Wall Street-focused culture from 1998 through 2001, the year of an alleged criminal conspiracy among a number of the company's senior executives. Giesecke said Wolff closely followed fluctuations of Homestore's stock price and was involved in the company's initial public stock offering, reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, press releases that announced quarterly financial results and conference calls with stock analysts. An attorney for the government asked Giesecke whether he followed what happened to other Internet company stocks in late-2001 when they reported quarterly revenues that were below Wall Street analysts' expectations. ...