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is investigating possible accounting irregularities that could hurt the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30 and may force the company to revise results for fiscal 2000.

Based on a preliminary investigation, the operator of rental-purchase stores said it expects the review to lead to a noncash, pretax reduction of $25 million to $35 million on fiscal 2000 earnings. Rent-Way had previously said it expected to meet the

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consensus estimate of $1.83 in fiscal year 2000.

The company now expects to report earnings of 88 cents to $1.14 a share for the year. Rent-Way hasn't determined the final amount of any revisions.

The company suspended and placed on leave its corporate controller, Matthew Marini and said President and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Conway relinquished his responsibilities at the request of the board's audit committee.

Wall Street expects the company to earn 46 cents a share for the fourth quarter.