AOL faces probe over revenue claims

Link: SEC expands AOL Time Warner probe

According to The Washington Post, the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether America Online executives David Colburn and Eric Keller misled accountants about a series of deals involving real estate listing company Homestore.

Homestore executives have allegedly told federal law enforcement that Colburn and Keller, top officials of AOL’s business affairs unit, concealed the complex nature of the transactions to boost revenue.

They claim Homestore paid firms for a service or product that it had no use for, then persuaded them to buy a similar amount of advertising on AOL. AOL shared the ad revenue with Homestore.

The ‘triangular’ deals enabled AOL to meet internal financial targets and permitted Homestore to meet the quarterly financial expectations of Wall Street analysts.

Neither Colburn nor Keller would comment to the Post on the story.

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