Industry News

Homestore CEO’s fraud conviction overturned

Government can request reconsideration or will pursue new trial

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A panel of judges has tossed out the conviction and sentencing of former Homestore Inc. CEO Stuart Wolff, ruling that the judge presiding over the case should have been removed because of a financial conflict of interest. The panel of three judges from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson's financial interest in America Online -- a company participating in transactions with Homestore that were a focus in the Wolff trial -- should have disqualified him from presiding over the case, according to a Monday court filing. Wolff had served as CEO and chairman for Move Inc. predecessor Homestore from 1997 until his resignation amid an internal investigation in 2002. A jury convicted Wolff on all 18 counts in June 2006, including conspiracy to commit securities fraud, file false reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, falsify Homestore's books and records, make false statements to the company's auditor, and fili...