US federal authorities are investigating allegations that America Online (AOL) executives carried out a series of deals which improperly boosted the company's revenue figures.
According to The Washington Post, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating whether AOL executives David Colburn and Eric Keller misled accountants about a series of deals involving a real estate listing company called Homestore.
Homestore executives allegedly told federal law enforcement officers that, Colburn and Keller, who held powerful positions in AOL's business affairs unit, concealed the complex nature of the transactions to boost revenue.
They claim that Homestore would pay firms for a service or product it had no use for, then persuade the same firms to buy a similar amount of advertising on AOL. AOL would then share the ad revenue with Homestore.
These 'triangular' deals enabled AOL to meet its internal financial targets and Homestore to meet its quarterly financial expectations.
Neither Colburn nor Keller would make any comment to The Washington Post on the story.
Sudden increases in availability of sniper rifles on Vikendi
Antarctica lost on average 252 gigatons of ice mass per year from 2009 to 2017, claims study
Buyers can demand refunds if they've had a game for no more than 14 days and not registered more than two hours of play
Total lunar eclipse 2019: 'Super Blood Wolf Moon' to be visible across Europe and North America on Sunday night
Moon will turn reddish-orange in colour during this weekend's total lunar eclipse