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Ex-Homestore execs Wolff and Tafeen charged by SEC

April 29, 2005

Criminal and civil charges filed

Inman News

Stuart Wolff and Peter Tafeen, former top executives for Homestore Inc., which operates the National Association of Realtors-affiliated home-search site and other property Web sites, face criminal charges for alleged insider trading, falsification of accounting records and violating securities laws.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Justice Department have reportedly launched criminal and civil cases against the two men. Tafeen is former executive vice president for Westlake Village, Calif.-based Homestore, and Wolff is former CEO.

Wolff and Tafeen resigned in January 2002. After an exhaustive investigation, they now face 19 criminal counts with a possible maximum sentence of 185 years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.

Homestore rocketed to the top of the online real estate industry in 1999-2001, but crashed when the firm's accounting scandal broke. The company has struggled ever since to grow revenue and become profitable.

Copyright 2005 Inman News

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