ARCP Ex-CFO Brian Block guilty of securities fraud

Mr. Block last year pleaded not guilty to charges, including conspiracy and securities fraud, stemming from accounting at the REIT once controlled by Nicholas Schorsch

Jun 30, 2017 @ 2:00 pm

By InvestmentNews

A New York federal jury on Friday found Brian Block, the former chief financial officer of American Realty Capital Properties Inc., a giant REIT once controlled by Nicholas Schorsch, guilty of cooking the books at the net lease real estate investment trust.

The verdict, which was reached just after 1 p.m. Friday in Manhattan federal court, marks the end of an 18-day trial.

Mr. Block maintained his composure after the verdict was read, with the same look of distant resolve he'd adopted throughout the trial's proceedings. He and his wife, who was gently sobbing, walked hand in hand out of the courtroom shortly after exchanging words and solemn embraces with Mr. Block's defense team.

"We were hoping for a different outcome," Michael Miller, partner at Steptoe & Johnson and part of Mr. Block's defense team, told reporters. "We will be appealing."

Last September, the Justice Department charged Mr. Block with conspiracy, securities fraud and other charges stemming from the accounting of AFFO, or adjusted funds from operation, at the REIT, known by its former ticker symbol ARCP.

The jury found Mr. Block guilty on all of the six counts for which he was tried: conspiracy to commit securities fraud and other offenses, securities fraud, and two each for making false filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission and submitting false certifications to the SEC.

The securities fraud, false filings charges and false certification charges each carry a maximum prison term of 20 years. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum term of five years.

Mr. Block's sentencing is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 26 at 2:30 p.m. in New York.

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