In another blow for Nicholas Schorsch, who just stepped aside from day-to-day management of independent broker-dealer giant RCS Capital, accounting firm Grant Thornton resigned as the auditor of REITs managed by Schorsch's American Realty Capital, according to SEC filings.
The filings did not give a reason for the professional parting, but said "there were no disagreements between the companies on any matters of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure or auditing scope or procedure. It also specified that "there were no reportable events as that term is defined by federal regulations.
American Realty is now in discussions to retain CohnReznick to replace Grant Thornton as its accounting firm, according to the filing. An American Realty spokesman would not comment. Grant Thornton said it had no additional comment.
Schorsch's financial empire encountered severe turbulence starting in October when it came to light that a $23 million accounting error from earlier in the year at his flagship REIT was intentionally uncorrected. The chief accounting officer and chief financial officer later resigned, and sales of American Realtys REITs were widely suspended as a result.
In the aftermath, a dispute arose partly stemming from the complicated corporate structure in which American Realty and RCS both had Schorsch as a top executive. In late December, Schorsch gave up the executive chairman position at RCS Capital, although he remains a leading shareholder. That saga came just months after Schorsch had been on a buying spree that reshaped the independent broker-dealer landscape, including the acquisition of Cetera and, most recently last summer, of Girard Securities and VSR Financial.
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