Articles Tagged with Schorsch

American Realty Capital Properties’ (ARCP) credit rating was just downgraded to junk status by Moody’s Investors Service (MCO). The credit rater is now rating the real estate investment trust with a Ba1, which is just under investment grade. Moody’s has also given ARCP a negative outlook. The downgrade comes following this week’s management shakeup at the REIT and its disclosure several weeks ago of massive accounting irregularities that were covered up.

This week, American Reality Capital Properties’ chairman and founder Nicholas Schorsch stepped down, as did COO Lisa Beeson and chief executive David Kay. In October, ARCP’s chief accounting officer and CFO also resigned after an $23 million accounting mistake was announced.

The change in management comes weeks after the REIT disclosed that it misstated financial results in 2014’s first quarter and purposely concealed the error by misrepresenting second quarter results. After the REIT revealed the $23 million accounting error, a number of firms suspended trading in nontraded real estate investment trusts that were run and backed by companies under Schorsch. The firms included Fidelity, Charles Schwab (SCHW), Pershing, LPL Financial (LPLA), AIG Advisor Group, National Planning Holding, Securities America, and even Schorsch’s Cetera Financial Group broker-dealer network.

Three more firms have decided to suspend trades of nontraded real estate investment trusts managed and backed by companies under Nicholas Schorsch’s control. The suspension comes following news of a $23 million accounting error involving American Realty Capital Properties Inc. (ARCP) which is Schorsch’s publicly treated REIT. ARCP owns Cole Capital Advisors Inc. and Cole Capital Partners.

The mistake was disclosed at the end of the month. ARCP revealed that the error occurred during the first half of the year and then was purposely left uncorrected. The latest firms to announce suspensions are Charles Schwab (SCHW), Pershing and Fidelity.

Schwab said it would suspend sales of Cole and American Realty Capital nontraded real estate investment trusts. Fidelity noted that it was going to stop facilitating subscriptions for certain Cole and Realty Capital Securities-affiliated nontraded REITs. Pershing told broker-dealers that use its clearing services that it would stop facilitating purchases of Cole Capital-sponsored investment products. More than thirty of the leading independent brokerage firms have clearing deals with Pershing.

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