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Cendant Reportedly Probed in Homestore Scandal





Former executives who admitted to securities fraud while working at Homestore.com (HOMS) have reportedly implicated Cendant (CD) in bogus, round-trip trades that are used to boost revenue.

Cendant has long denied it is being investigated and said the latest allegations are untrue.

People involved in the probe told The New York Times that investigators have asked Homestore.com about possible involvement of Bob Pittman, the former AOL Time Warner (AOL - Get Report) chief operating officer who was also a Cendant executive in the mid-1990s. AOL has also been a target of the Homestore.com probe and was forced to restate about $190 million of revenue earlier this year. Pittman hasn't been accused of wrongdoing, the story noted.

Cendant has had ties with AOL after the company hired Pittman from its Century 21 real estate operation in 1996, becoming a big advertiser with the company after its merger with Time Warner in 2001. Executives who worked with Mr. Pittman before and after the merger said he helped to bring in Cendant's advertising business and sought to do business with the company whenever possible, the newspaper said.

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