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CPA firm breakup leads to office partition sale

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Ed Samek, owner of certified public accounting firm Samek & Co., said he would likely move his business if he is not able to secure the winning bid in a partition sale of the 1900 S. Venture Ave. office building that he has worked out of since 2001.

Owners of the 9,249-square-foot building, who are looking to end their joint ownership of the property, have not been able to come to an agreement to transfer ownership on their own, which necessitated the need for the partition sale, according to Samek.

Whitehall Investments LLC, established by Samek’s wife, Pat Samek, petitioned the court for sale of the property, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. Dec. 16 at at the south front door of the Greene County Courthouse, 940 Boonville Ave. The other property owner is Danza Investments LLC, which was organized by Deborah Fritz. Fritz is the former partner in the firm Samek, Fritz & Co. PC, which operated out of the Ventura office between 2001 and earlier this year, Ed Samek said.

Fritz formed Fritz, Nippes & Associates LLC in February with former Samek, Fritz & Co. partner Alan Nippes. The firm operates out of its offices at 1855 S. Ingram Mill Road in the Hamra Plaza.

Samek said the firm split in February, and Whitehall Investments was looking to sell its ownership after Danza originally sought a petition sale before later withdrawing its request. The sale would effectively be an auction, Samek said, with the highest bidder becoming the full property owner.

“The issue just had to be settled one way or another because the building was not being fully utilized,” Samek said, noting the building is about 50 percent occupied. “You can’t go out and seek a long-term tenant when you’ve got issues surrounding what’s going to happen with the building in the long term and the parties just don’t agree on anything with what’s to be done with it.”

Samek said he was planning to bid on the property, and if he was unable to be secure its ownership through the sale, he would likely move his firm. Samek started the CPA firm in 1980, and it currently has nine employees.

Pat Samek, who works as the office manager for Samek & Co., said she formed Whitehall investments for the purposes of owning the property. She said she would not compete with her husband during the bidding process.

"We just want the building to sell. We just want the issue to be resolved," Pat Samek said.

Alan Nippes said the firm dissolved because a buyout of Samek, Fritz & Co. was unsuccessful.

"Although we worked together successfully for many years, in the end, we just had different business philosophies and a different vision for the future of the firm," Nippes said.

He said Fritz and Samek still have some unresolved issues related to their former company that they are working out through Greene County Circuit Court. He said the court has appointed a receiver to hear the issues.

According to Greene County assessor records, the nearly 1-acre property has a 2011 assessed value of $220,990.
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