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Ex-Homestore Execs to Plead Guilty

September 25, 2002

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Three former executives of the nation’s largest Internet-based provider of residential real estate listings have agreed to plead guilty to fraudulently inflating company earnings, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

Two former executives of Homestore.com Inc. _ chief operating officer John Giesecke and chief financial officer Joseph Shew _ agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Giesescke also agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud and former vice president John Desimone will plead guilty to insider trading charges, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

All three were expected to enter the pleas in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Homestore, headquartered in Westlake, Calif., ran a network of realty-related Web sites including Realtor.com, the official Web site of the National Association of Realtors. Earlier this year, Homestore said it had overstated revenue in the first three quarters of 2001 by as much as $95 million.

The company has changed its management team and the firm is cooperating with the investigation, the government sources said. Giesecke, Shew and Desimone also have agreed to cooperate with the investigation.

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