Sunday, September 21, 2014

MICHIGAN VETERINARIAN DR. BRUCE LANGLOIS TAKES HIS SPAY NEUTER EXPRESS TO BRIGHTON, TENNESSEE: Tennessee Department of Health Official Confirms Langlois Is Unlicensed; Provides Complaint Link, Information

Langlois, Michigan Sex Offender Registry

 -MI vet, registered sex offender practices without a license in Tennessee
 -Conducts 3-day "clinic" at Tipton County Animal Control 
On his website, Michigan veterinarian Bruce Langlois states he "created Spay Neuter Express to provide a mobile vet service across all areas of Michigan." 

Except when he doesn't stay in Michigan.

Miss Fortune investigated an anonymous comment submitted to this blog alleging Langlois had recently been in Tennessee, and can confirm that Langlois and his Spay Neuter Express did conduct a three-day "clinic" at the Tipton County Animal Shelter in Brighton from September 13-15.

A spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Health confirmed in an email to Miss Fortune that "our records do not show Bruce Langlois among the listings for licensed veterinarians in Tennessee."


Dr. Langlois’ 'Disciplinary Action' reports from the State of Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs indicate an extensive history of suspension and probation.

Dr. Langlois’ most recent 'Consent Order and Stipulation' on his veterinary licenses is dated February 2012. 

Langlois was accused of "negligence and incompetence", and while he "did not admit nor deny the allegations of fact and law" official Michigan Department of Health records show Langlois was fined and put on probation for one year.


As I've previously reported, Langlois is a registered sex offender with a criminal history even more disturbing than his record as a vet. Langlois is a two-time loser, with lifetime supervision by the State of Michigan. 

Langlois has served two prison terms, in 1988 and 1995, on Criminal Sexual Conduct charges.

According to official State of Michigan court records, in 1995 Langlois pleaded guilty to one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct 4th Degree after an incident with an employee. Langlois testified that he and the woman had become friends, and admitted in court that he "misinterpreted her behavior as flirtatious", also known as the "she asked for it" defense.

Langlois admitted that the incident occurred in the office while the employee was on a stool, reaching for something and he "put his hands up her shorts on her bottom in an attempt to stop the fall". Langlois went on to admit that he had attempted to put his fingers in the woman's vagina


The Tennessee Health Department spokesperson, after reading the comment left on this blog, urged those wishing to file a complaint to call the Department's toll-free Complaint Hotline at 1-800-852-2187, or use the complaint form available on its website.

Friday, September 19, 2014

THE RED HERRING REVIEW PART 2: There's Something Fishy Going On--Oh Look, A Squirrel!


Part 1-Oh look, a shiny thing! 
OVERLAP: Official documents reveal potential conflict of interest-Mark Noss continued to serve on Grand Traverse Academy board after signing two-year management contract

Part 2-Oh look, a squirrel!
OPTICS & SEMANTICS: It doesn't matter what you call it, $1.67 million dollars is gone...and the board's not lifting a finger to get it back.

The Grand Traverse Academy's recent attempt at "make it go away" crisis PR, designed to remedy the school's earlier lack of communication and transparency regarding repayment of an outstanding $1.67 million dollars owed to the Traverse City charter school by Steven Ingersoll's Smart Schools Management, Inc., has fallen far short its goal: to convince you that it's a "common accounting practice" to call a seven-figure loss a "rebate" and keep it on the books as an asset.

In an interview this week with Interlochen Public Radio, Full Spectrum Management's Mark Noss objected to the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) term "prepaid expense", calling it "a terrible description of what that money is."

For an optometrist, Noss is a poor judge of what politicians call "optics".


The standard framework of accounting principles, standards and procedures that companies use to compile their financial statements includes prepaid expenses. Prepaid expenses and deferred charges appear on a company’s balance sheet as 'other assets'. 

Both categories apply to a situation where a client pays in advance for a good or service. When you see the words "expense" and "charge", you might wonder how these times belong in an asset account.

Expenses belong on the income statement, right?

Well, GAAP dictate that expenses that are paid before they're due belong on the balance sheet. Whenever a company pays expenses in the current period that won't be matched with services until subsequent periods, the expense is a "prepaid expense" or "deferred charge".

Doesn't sound so terrible to me.


As the 2001-2013 financial snapshot shows (left), the Grand Traverse Academy has a history of ending its fiscal years with a "prepaid expense" balance. 

Beginning in fiscal year 2005 (ending June 30), the Academy's annual audits began to show a pattern of ending each year with prepaid expense balances that ranged from $25,882, topping out in 2013 at $2.38 million.

While the early audits may have been performed by a more compliant, less rigorous CPA firm, the Academy's 2013 audit drew much closer scrutiny of its "prepaid expense" balance by Traverse City public accounting firm Dennis, Gartland & Niergarth.

In the auditor’s report, Smart Schools Management agreed that it “owed Grand Traverse Academy an amount classified as a prepaid balance” ($2,338,980), and worked out a repayment plan with the Academy. The plan called for Smart Schools to "work off the prepayment" by “partially reducing cash transfers for future management fees through June 2016”.

Funny, I don't see any mention of a "rebate" or "pledge" or "teacher pay cuts"--just an acknowledgement by Steven Ingersoll that Smart Schools paid itself in advance for services it agreed to deliver later.

In fact, the audit also outlines the "repayment" plan agreed to by Smart Schools and the Grand Traverse Academy: in plain language, the Academy would simply deduct the $2.3 million overcharge--in three installments--from Smart Schools' expected future management fees.

 According to the 2013 financial audit, the prepaid management fee “reductions” were scheduled to be received from Ingersoll's Smart Schools Management, Inc. as follows:

2014: $774,000
2015: $960,000
2016: $604,980

However, as I revealed on this blog, the Academy board did not amend the Smart Schools Management contract to reflect the deal, neglecting to put in writing the deal that was outlined and agreed to in the 2013 fiscal audit. 


In the IPR interview, Noss claims that another management company with "no understanding of who we are" could have destroyed the school.

In addition, the story reveals that board attorney Kerry Morgan claimed that the "board did nothing wrong when it hired Mark Noss."

But according to newly-released Academy documents, obtained through a Freedom of Interest Act request, Noss continued to serve on the Academy board for weeks after he signed a two-year management contract, a potentially serious conflict of interest.

As even the appearance of conflict is a serious allegation, I have forwarded the documents, along with a link to my story, to the Michigan Department of Education for official reaction. 

I will provide an update as soon as it becomes available.


With his federal fraud trial on the docket for December 2, it's likely that we'll learn much more about Ingersoll's financial activities, including his "debt" to the Grand Traverse Academy.

So is Steve Ingersoll, the man who stopped paying his Bay City property taxes in early 2012, really a philanthropist?

Or is he just another robbin' hood?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

THE RED HERRING REVIEW: There's Something Fishy Going On!

Part 1: Oh look, a shiny thing!

OVERLAP: Official documents reveal Mark Noss continued to serve on Grand Traverse Academy Board after signing two-year management contract; conflict of interest violation?

The idiom "red herring" is used to refer to something that misleads or distracts from the relevant or important issue. It may be either a logical fallacy or a literary device that leads readers or characters towards a false conclusion. 

A red herring might be intentionally used, such as in mystery fiction or as part of a rhetorical strategy, or it could be inadvertently used during argumentation as a result of poor logic.

Or the red herring might be a seemingly plausible, though ultimately irrelevant, diversionary tacticlike the "History of Grand Traverse Academy" posted last Saturday by the Academy's Board of Directors.

If you're expecting an in-depth analysis of this nonsensical attempt at propaganda, you're about to be disappointed: Miss Fortune held her nose and didn't follow that strong-smelling red fish down the wrong trail.

Instead, here are three things you need to know about the Steven Ingersoll controversy and its impact on the Grand Traverse Academy:

The Board's "history" does not include the June 2013 fiscal year.

The Board spent nearly 2,500 words in an unsuccessful attempt to convince readers that Smart Schools Management, in the person of Steven Ingersoll, "rendered support" to the Grand Traverse Academy that far outweighed the $2.38 million dollar overpayment during fiscal year 2013. 

Using four "methodologies" (direct donation, guarantee of debt, rebate of contractually authorized and budgeted earnings and an agreement to augment GTA’s revenue by leasing some of GTA’s facilities) the report strained credulity like a worn pair of Spanx.

Pulling a rabbit out of the hat, the report even inverts logic and claims that the "controversial $1.6 million “prepaid” is in actuality the remainder of nearly $5 million of earnings that SSM promised to pay to GTA according to its needs."

Promised to pay to GTA? I'll bet, like the so-called "repayment agreement", the Board doesn't have it in writing.

So does Ingersoll owe $1.6 million, or $5.0 million? 

Back in April, former Superintendent Kaye Mentley (who'd already met with federal investigators four times and testified in front of the grand jury that indicted Ingersoll) was quoted in the Record-Eagle saying she's "not concerned" about the $1.6 million owed by Ingersoll and Smart Schools. She went on to say that "at this time, the payment schedule that was arranged has been kept."

And while the Board recently decided to wait until after Ingersoll's federal fraud trial to sue Smart Schools for the outstanding $1.6 million, it gazes into a funhouse mirror and blurts out this line: "While GTA rightfully relied upon and expected SSM to deliver $1.6 million from its future GTA earnings; recovery remains uncertain."

What bloody hell is this? Conflating an overpayment of nearly $2.38 million dollars (accomplished in fiscal 2013, according to the Academy's official audit report) with "future earnings"?

I was born at night...but not last night.

Piling a convoluted narrative on top of the stark reality of missing a fat stack like $1.6 million shouldn't distract from the facts—unless you let it.

As outlined in the 2013 audit report, here's the real deal the Grand Traverse Academy made with Ingersoll:

In the auditor’s report, Smart Schools Management agreed that it “owed Grand Traverse Academy an amount classified as a prepaid balance” ($2,338,980), and worked out a repayment plan with the Academy. The plan called for Smart Schools to "work off the prepayment" by “partially reducing cash transfers for future management fees through June 2016”.

In plain language, the Academy would simply deduct the $2.3 million overcharge
in three installmentsfrom Steven Ingersoll's expected future management fees as follows:

2014: $774,000
2015: $960,000
2016: $604,980

Think about that for a moment. Imagine you're on the board of a charter school, and your management company has siphoned $2.3 million more they were legally entitled
directly from your own bank account.

What do you do? Do you call a cop? 

Or do you cover it up, and allow him to "pay you back" by "paying him less"?  

But what happens when you cut him loose? 

Mark Noss and His Academy Board/Full Spectrum Management Overlap/Conflict of Interest: "Forget it, Jake; it's Chinatown"

The full service educational management contract between the Academy and former Board President Mark Noss' Full Spectrum Management, LLC was supposedly "based on the uniqueness of the educational model upon which the school was founded" and, if you believe former Board attorney Doug Bishop, "urgency".

But was it really uniqueness and urgency that kept Mark Noss an active member of the Grand Traverse Academy Board for at least one month after he signed a two-year contract to manage the school...or something much more questionable?

As I reported on this blog, Noss was still president when the Academy Board voted unanimously to "withdraw from the management contract with Smart Schools Management, Inc." during an early morning meeting on March 19.

Minutes later, the Board voted unanimously to accept the resignation of "Mark Noss as the President of the Board." That motion was followed immediately by one that nominated Brad Habermehl as President of the Board.  The official March 19 meeting minutes reveal that only Habermehl abstained—Noss was among the four Board members voting "aye".

The meeting ended at 9:15 with a final motion: the approval of Full Spectrum's new management contract. Noss abstained from that vote, with three board members approving the contract and one member voting "no".

So, did Mark Noss vote to approve his own contract? 

One could argue that by voting to support the motion to withdraw from the Smart Schools contract, Noss did help set the wheels of transition in motion. 

And it's clear that negotiations for the management takeover of the Grand Traverse Academy by Full Spectrum began while Noss was still a board member.

Sometime on March 19, Academy Board member Noss and Board president Habermehl officially signed a two-year contract for Noss and Full Spectrum Management to run the Grand Traverse Academy, one that could pay him up $4.0 million dollars.

But if you thought that ended Mark Noss' tenure on the Academy Board, you'd be wrong

Although Noss resigned at the March 19 special meeting, official Board records reveal the resignation was not "effective immediately".

In a relationship that's reminiscent of a famous "Chinatown" scene, Noss' "my school board/my management company" wango tango kept right on going, at least through the April 11 meeting.

In a potential violation of Michigan's conflict-of-interest laws, Noss (the head of Full Spectrum Management) and sitting Academy board member called it in—attending the April 11 meeting via phone.

One of his last duties was adding an agenda item: approving an amendment to his Full Spectrum Management contract. The official meeting minutes indicated Noss added "8a", but the neglected to include a description or any information explaining the amendment.

Roughly one month after he was awarded a management contract, and witnessed by Lake Superior State University's charter office head Nick Oshelski and former Academy Superintendent Kaye Mentley, Noss officially stepped down from the Grand Traverse Academy Board...but not from the Academy.

I guess you can have it both ways!

June 30, 2011 and December 2, 2014

You won't read in these two dates the Academy's history, but as Ingersoll's December 2 federal fraud trial draws closer, they loom in importance.

For those of you who like to quote Gertrude Stein when you talk about a link between the Grand Traverse Academy and Ingersoll's federal trial ("there is no there there"), read this excerpt from his indictment:

All the jibber jabber about "prepaid" or "deferred" or "gifts" won't mean a thing when the feds get you on the stand.

I'll be back Friday with a final wrap-up ("Part 2: Oh look, a squirrel") of the "History of Grand Traverse Academy".

Monday, September 15, 2014

PROMISE TO PAY: June 30, 2011


The controversial $1.6 million “prepaid” is in actuality the remainder of nearly $5 million of earnings that SSM promised to pay to GTA according to its needs.

Excerpted from
"History of Grand Traverse Academy"

Miss Fortune's exclusive "Red Herring Review" begins Wednesday.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

INGERSOLL HAS A VISION? Uneasy Lies The Head That Wears A Crown: Self-Proclaimed "Reform King" Blames His "Political Enemies" For Legal Troubles (Will He Bring Imaginary Friends To Court During Upcoming Federal Trial?)


News wrap-up, including September 12 motion filing deadline "document dump" and Grand Traverse Academy Board meeting.

Among the highlights: Ingersoll has enemies, Kaye Mentley testified to the federal grand jury that indicted Ingersoll, former Bay City crony of Ingersoll's recorded conversations, the IRS underestimated how much money Ingersoll made and the Grand Traverse Academy Board chickened out--they've decided to wait and see before suing to recover nearly $1.6 million dollars.

"Dr. Steven Ingersoll has made powerful and determined political enemies with his vision for reforming Michigan’s failing public school system through establishment of innovative, privately run charter schools. These political enemies have strong financial and political interests in undermining the charter schools established by Dr. Ingersoll, and stand to benefit from discrediting all of Dr. Ingersoll’s work."
-excerpt from a motion filed September 12 
"to produce confidential informants and exculpatory information" 
on behalf of Steven and Deborah Ingersoll


Martin Crandall and Kenneth Sasse, attorneys for federally-indicted Steven Ingersoll and his wife, co-defendant Deborah Ingersoll, filed a motion on their behalf in US District Court on September 12, requesting the court "order the government to produce information regarding its confidential informants as well as all exculpatory information in their possession." 

The motion was made "pursuant to the Ingersolls’ rights under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to due process, the right to present a defense, and the right to a fundamentally fair trial."

Ingersoll's federal case originated from the government’s investigation into allegations of improper asbestos removal at 400 N. Madison (left), a former church that ultimately became the Madison Arts campus of the Bay City Academy.

Ingersoll was not charged in that case, and his federal fraud case has nothing to do with asbestos. 

During the government’s investigation into the asbestos case, the court documents claim officials "eventually turned their sights onto the Ingersolls’ personal finances, and a construction loan between
Chemical Bank and Dr. Ingersoll’s company, Madison Arts Academy, LLC, the proceeds of which were used to construct the BCA building."

On April 23, 2014, Steven Ingersoll was charged in a seven count superseding indictment with conspiracy to defraud a financial institution; conspiracy to defraud the United States Internal Revenue Service, three counts of obtaining money by false pretenses, and two counts of filing a false income tax return. Deborah Ingersoll was charged with one count conspiracy to defraud a financial institution

The activity detailed in the indictment started in April 2010 when Ingersoll purchased a former church at 400 N. Madison Avenue in Bay City, and in October 2010 entered into a construction contract with Roy Bradley in order to convert the structure into the Bay City Academy.

The government indictment alleged that in January 2011, Steven Ingersoll obtained a $1.8 million construction line of credit loan from Chemical Bank in Bay City for renovation at 400 N. Madison. During the next few months, the Ingersolls (Steven Ingersoll, his wife Deborah and brother Gayle) and Roy and Tammy Bradley moved large sums of money between various business and personal accounts and issued checks to one another.

On June 30, 2011, Ingersoll is alleged to have used part of the loan that had been diverted into his personal account to pay "a debt" to the Grand Traverse Academy. His debt resulted from "advances he made to himself from the academy’s funds", the indictment stated.

Did you catch that? 

The indictment alleged that Ingersoll's Grand Traverse Academy debt resulted from "advances he made to himself from the academy’s funds" (emphasis added)—not to Smart Schools Management.

The indictment further stated the Ingersolls and Bradleys concealed that the proceeds of the loan were converted into personal income for Steve Ingersoll. It also stated that Steve and his brother Gayle Ingersoll filed false federal income tax returns for the 2011 tax year and that the Bradleys paid their construction workers in cash to not report their wages.

The September 12 motion alleges "Ingersoll has made powerful and determined political enemies with his vision for reforming Michigan’s failing public school system through establishment of innovative, privately run charter schools. These political enemies have strong financial and political interests in undermining the charter schools established by Dr. Ingersoll, and stand to benefit from discrediting all of Dr. Ingersoll’s work."

Ah yes, the "Marion Barry" defense!
By the way, that didn't work for Barry either.

Oh it's a setup, it's a setup, it's a setup--there's a traitor, there's a mole, it's a peacetime overthrow!

Among the names mentioned in the motion are Tim Hunnicutt, former CEO of Ingersoll's Front Porch Renaissance Group, and Kaye Mentley.

Mentley served as Superintendent of the Grand Traverse Academy for nearly 14 years before being fired by Mark Noss on July 2.


The motion claims that the "government has produced four covert recordings made by Tim Hunnicutt, none of which were transcribed by the government. The government has produced no memoranda of interview detailing how these recordings were made or obtained. Two of these recordings were created in coordination with EPA and IRS agents, as referenced in the recordings themselves."

And in a particularly vicious twist, the motion stretches credulity even further than a Sansabelt waistband: it calls out Hunnicutt, accusing him of being a wannabe cop who was "playing detective". 

The motion reveals that Hunnicutt has an associate’s degree in criminal justice, and speculates whether he "was serving the government here as a paid informant, cooperating witness, or private citizen with an axe to grind." 

What, only three choices? 

The motion claims "Hunnicutt was out to setup (sic) Ingersoll and
was enjoying playing spy."

In addition, Hunnicutt is alleged to "have manipulated the two recordings he made on his own, as both of the recordings pick up in the middle of conversations, omitting any conversation that occurred before Hunnicutt pressed record on his recording device—shockingly unethical conduct for a person trained in criminal justice."

An associate's degree makes him a person "trained in criminal justice"?  

That's like saying the steak dinner I once had at the Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn makes me Gordon Ramsey!

The overheated language continues, alleging that one "recording between Hunnicutt and Patty Engler omits both the beginning and end of the conversation." 

The motion alleges that "the government nevertheless used the recording between Hunnicutt and Engler to intimidate Engler during an interview, pressuring her in efforts to incriminate Steven Ingersoll."

Engler's LinkedIn profile shows that she worked as the Vice President of Training and Development for Smart Schools Management from July 1996-June 2014 while serving as the Executive Director of Excel Management, Inc. from March 2000-December 2013. (UPDATE 9/15: Patty Engler's LinkedIn profile mysteriously disappeared shortly after this story was published.)

Excel Management was founded by and is currently co-owned by Full Spectrum Management's Mark Noss and federally-indicted Steven Ingersoll.


In what may turn out to be a hide-saving move, it was revealed in the September 12 defense motion that Kaye Mentley, former Grand Traverse Academy superintendent, not only met with government agents twice in person and twice by phone, she also testified to the grand jury. 

However, the motion claims that the "government has produced only two memoranda of interview related to Mentley, a discrepancy that, coupled with other facts above, suggests the government is withholding additional evidence relevant to the Ingersolls’ defense."

Crandall and Sasse also filed another motion on September 12, seeking on behalf of the Ingersolls to order that the goverment disclose its "confidential informants and exculpatory information".

The motions claims that "the government has not provided complete disclosure regarding their interviews with Tim Hunnicutt" and that "there are one or more additional witnesses which the government intends to rely on at trial, but who have not been disclosed to the defense. These additional witnesses are the equivalent of confidential informants under Roviaro."

In a criminal prosecution, the government has a qualified privilege to withhold the identity of informants. Roviaro v. United States, 353 U.S. 53, 59 (1957). The motions states that "privilege must give way", however, when an informant possesses information that is “relevant and helpful to the defense of the accused or is essential to a fair determination of a cause.”

The motion again cites Hunnicutt, claiming that "based on the surreptitious way Hunnicutt made recordings of conversations with Dr. Ingersoll without government oversight, there is reason to believe other individuals were likewise consorting with Hunnicutt and feeding the government information in efforts to ruin Dr. Ingersoll personally."


Traverse City attorney Jan Geht also filed a motion on September 12 on behalf of his client, Steven Ingersoll.

The motion, requests that the government provide Ingersoll
"in detail for the tax years 2009 and 2010", including bank deposits, cash expenditures, net worth increase, net income information, disallowed expenditures, etc.

The motion states that the superseding indictment only alleges that Ingersoll willfully attempted to evade and defeat “a large part of the income tax due and owing by him” and that the correct taxable
income was “substantially in excess” of the reported amount. 

Unlike the voluminous discovery provided by the government in regards to Counts 1 through 5 of Ingersoll's indictment, the motion claims that the "only discovery produced by the government to substantiate the tax evasion charges appears to be the grand jury testimony of Michael Kaza." (Kaza is a Special Agent at the Internal Revenue Service.)

The motion boasts that while "Kaza provided the grand jury with estimates of the additional unreported income", his explanation is insufficient to prepare the defense in this case for two reasons.

First, the firehouse of money that "Ingersoll's management company (Smart School Management) received from Grand Traverse Academy in any given year is more than what Mr. Kaza testified was received for the three years combined. (emphasis added)"

Second, the motion continues, while "Kaza testified that the government allowed business expenses to Dr. Ingersoll, payroll paid by Smart School Management alone was more than double the amount Mr. Kaza represented as money flowing from Grand Traverse Academy to Smart School Management. (emphasis added)"

If the IRS underestimated the gusher of money going into Smart Schools' bank accounts, they may have missed something else.

Seems like an odd thing to object to: I've got way more money than even you know!


According to the Traverse City Record-Eagle, Ingersoll's lawyer Geht flipped the script on the Academy Board and now claims that the Grand Traverse Academy "owes Smart Schools $2.8 million in unpaid management fees accrued over the last decade."

And in a  "holy crap!" move, Academy Board members have apparently decided to wait until after Steven Ingersoll's federal criminal case is resolved before they take action against him to recover the remaining $1.6 million from a fiscal 2013 overpayment (of $2.38 million) by Smart Schools Management, Inc to Smart Schools.

"Its recovery is uncertain, but it's something we are going to consider pursuing depending on the outcome of his legal situation. It's driven by pragmatic concerns," said Kerry Morgan, an attorney who spoke on the board's behalf. "If you're sitting in federal lock-up, it's a little different. And the government seizes your assets ... It's kind of a, why are we doing this?"

A more appropriate question is: why are you not doing this now?

Brad Habermehl, are you listening? Looks like that July 18 statement might be coming back to haunt you...or was there another reason?

Reports circulating suggest that Ingersoll still has major influence on the Grand Traverse Academy's Board, and I'm starting to suspect that he may have had a hand in crafting the "statement" read by Habermehl back in July.

Why would the Board, which the Record-Eagle reports has "increasingly tried to distance the school from Ingersoll" allow its president to stand up and publicly claim that "Smart Schools gave (emphasis added) GTA $3.3 million"?


COMING SOON: An analysis of the Grand Traverse Academy's "history/budget", just released yesterday.