PLEAD NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE: Ingersoll tried to cut a plea deal in his federal fraud case nearly a year ago!
A document filed on August 25 reveals Assistant U. S. Attorney Janet Parker countered Steven Ingersoll's request for a six-month delay in his federal fraud trial with a compromise: three months.
But that's not the most shocking fact revealed in the document, made public less than 24 hours ago: Ingersoll's attorneys—Martin Crandall and Jan Geht—were engaged in "pre-indictment plea negotiations" on his behalf, beginning nearly a year ago.
Those plea negotiations appears to coincide with the June 2013 Grand Traverse Academy fiscal audit process.
Ingersoll apparently withheld that information from the Board, only informing them in March of his impending federal indictment.
The acute financial issue the Academy board is currently grappling with rests on the fact that Ingersoll's Smart Schools Management, Inc. "withheld repayment" of a $2.3 prepaid fee overcharge reported in the June 2013 fiscal audit...money Ingersoll apparently advanced to Smart Schools Management directly from the Academy's bank account right under everyone's noses.
And that $2.3 million dollar overpayment is in addition to the $1,347,234 management fee paid to Ingersoll's Smart Schools Management, Inc. in 2013.
THE US ATTORNEY'S RESPONSE
On August 19, 2014, less than a month before the scheduled trial date, counsel for Deborah Ingersoll filed a motion, asking that the trial be delayed for six months. Counsel for Steven Ingersoll and Roy Bradley joined in that motion.
The government response stated that "a six-month adjournment of the trial is unwarranted in this case." Instead, a "more moderate adjournment of approximately three months would be more appropriate in this case."
In addition, since no search warrant evidence is to be presented in the case, and the statements of all defendants were disclosed to their respective counsel more than a month before the deadline for filing motions expired on August 19, 2014, the government opposes the defense request to extend that deadline for two additional months, to October 20, 2014.
Deborah Ingersoll hired a new attorney (Kenneth R. Sasse) on July 15, 2014, who "was presumably aware of the nature of the charges in the indictment when he sought to join in the case."
Moreover, at the time when Sasse came on board, the government had already disclosed "over 2100 pages of discovery to all defense counsel, so Sasse should have had reason to believe that discovery was substantial."
In addition, the August 25 filing states that "a cursory check of the docket would have informed counsel that a trial was scheduled for September 16, 2014, and that the deadline for filing motions and entering into a plea agreement were looming."
STEVEN INGERSOLL'S PLEA DEAL
Sasse, Deborah Ingersoll's attorney, claimed in his August 19 motion that Steven Ingersoll's attorneys have "trials scheduled in September, October and November of 2014."
The government responded, stating that Ingersoll's attorneys are "hardly unique in that regard" and revealed government attorneys also have "trials scheduled during those same months."
In addition, unlike the government in this case, Ingersoll is represented by two attorneys. Both of those attorneys have been involved in the case for approximately two years and even engaged in pre-indictment plea negotiations, starting almost a year ago.
REALLY SMART, SMART SCHOOLS MANAGEMENT: WHO'S YOUR SUGAR DADDY NOW?
This crapapalooza is starting to make sense, in a perverse way.
Could some of that $2.3 million overpaid to Smart Schools have instead found its way into the "Steven J. Ingersoll Criminal Defense and Offshore Excursion Fund"?
Short of a forensic audit of the Grand Traverse Academy, we'll never know.