JUNE 2013 DEMAND LETTER FROM GTA BOARD SEEKS OVER $3.5 MILLION FROM INGERSOLL!
INGERSOLL CLAIMS ILLICIT FUND TRANSFERS FROM GRAND TRAVERSE ACADEMY TO SMART SCHOOLS MANAGEMENT WERE LOANS...THAT HE MADE TO HIMSELF!
DONATION FABRICATION: BOARD CIRCLED THE WAGONS TO PROTECT INGERSOLL!
WHAT DID MARK NOSS KNOW, AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT?
Miss Fortune breaks another exclusive, this time with explosive documents that reveal a truly shocking fact—Doug Bishop, the Grand Traverse Academy's attorney, sent a letter demanding immediate repayment of $3,548,319.00 to Steven Ingersoll back on June 13, 2013!
So much for the Academy Board's donation fabrication.
The June 2013 letter, shown above, was copied to Ingersoll's longtime friend and business partner, former Board President Mark Noss.
60 DAY TRIAL DELAY SOUGHT BY INGERSOLL
On November 13, 2014, Steven J. Ingersoll filed a motion for
reconsideration of the court’s November 3 order denying his prior motion to adjourn the current December 2, 2014 trial date for two months. Judge Thomas L. Ludington has scheduled a hearing on Ingersoll's motion for Tuesday, November 18 at 2:00pm.
The court directed the government to respond, which was filed and made public late yesterday afternoon.
THE [FRAUD] GOSPEL, ACCORDING TO STEVE: I MADE LOANS TO MYSELF...FROM PUBLIC FUNDS!
The government response reveals that Rule 7.1(h)(3) of the local court rules states with regards to motions for reconsideration that “[t]he movant must not only demonstrate a palpable defect by which the court … ha[s] ben misled but also show that correcting the defect will result in a different disposition of the case.”
The government claims that Ingersoll’s “motion for reconsideration neither addresses nor comes close to satisfying that standard.” On
the contrary, the government states that Steven Ingersoll’s motion for reconsideration is based on “multiple faulty premises”.
The court documents reveal that Ingersoll’s motion is founded in part on the “erroneous legal premise” that the transactions that he created and resulted in him receiving very substantial sums of unreported income can be characterized as “loans derived from the Grand Traverse Academy”.
However, as the government helpfully reminds us, the Grand Traverse Academy is actually a “publicly funded public school” rather than an entity authorized to make business or personal loans to Steven Ingersoll or any other shell corporations or entities he controlled, in addition to the Grand Traverse Academy.
Because the concept of repayment of a loan has no application to the fund transfers Steven Ingersoll made to his solely-owned businesses and himself using taxpayer money belonging to the GTA, the government stated in its response that there is no merit to Ingersoll’s claim that “repayments” allegedly made by Ingersoll in years “following 2009 and 2010” are relevant to the tax evasions charges pending against him.
The documents revealed that Ingersoll's repayments continued at least through 2013.
Though the cases cited by Ingersoll are readily distinguishable based on the “commercial settings from which the cases arise”, the governmen't response cites the Sixth Circuit’s observation in
Jaques v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 935. F.2d 104, 109 (6th Cir. 1991), that “[s]omething more is required, however, than the mere representation of the parties that the withdrawals were considered to be “loans”.
The government maintains there “must be at least some evidence of the corporate formalities which usually accompany such transaction[,]” is applicable to this case.
In its response, the government submits that the “funds transfers made by Steven Ingersoll were never accompanied by the corporate
formalities that should accompany a loan, even if it were permissible for the GTA to make loans.”
The letter was also sent to Mark Noss, then GTA Board President. Noss is currently head of the GTA's education management provider, Full Spectrum Management, LLC. Noss was officially awarded his multi-year management contract during a March 19, 2014 early-morning Board meeting, but actively remained a member of the Grand Traverse Academy Board at least through its April meeting—an arrangement that is illegal here in Michigan and expressly prohibited by the Academy Board's ethics policy.
THE FORENSIC ACCOUNTANT: "CONFLICTED OUT"
My research indicated that Hammel, President of St. Clair Shores-based GHD Forensics, LLC, had been a forensic accountant since 1987 and had extensive experience in the areas of fraud and forensics, including embezzlement investigations, and could likely provide the important information I was seeking.
I spoke only briefly with Hammel on April 24, who quickly informed me that he was “conflicted out” after I mentioned Ingersoll and the Grand Traverse Academy.
Although I suspected that Hammel may be working as part of Ingersoll's defense team, I had no definitive proof—until yesterday when I download the reconsideration motion filed on November 13 on behalf of Steven Ingersoll.
The document reveals that Hammel was retained by Ingersoll's defense team nearly a year ago. Hammel reports that he and his staff spent nearly 300 hours analyzing the relationship between the Grand Traverse Academy and Ingersoll's Smart Schools Management, Inc., and provided Ingersoll's attorneys with their analysis in February 2014.
In his November 12 affidavit, Hammel identifies nine of Ingersoll's “personal bank accounts and related entities”: the Grand Traverse Academy, the Bay City Academy, Smart Schools Management, Inc., Smart Schools, Inc., Front Porch Renaissance Group, Madison Arts, Smart Schools Management of Bay City, LLC, Webster House and Perry House.
Hammel's affidavit was used in an attempt to bolster Ingersoll's November 13 motion for another trial delay, with Hammel claiming that he operated under the same view as Ingersoll's defense team: that Counts 6 and 7 of the Superseding Indictment “dealt with the proper tax characterization of the money flow between the Grand Traverse Academy to Smart Schools Management, LLC.” Hammel also claimed that “Ingersoll's withdrawal of money from his corporation is a loan, even though there is no written agreement, no security interest and no interest charged”, neglecting to mention that money was taxpayer money that had journeyed to Ingersoll from the State of Michigan and the hapless Grand Traverse Academy.
However, in its November 14 response, the government stated the concept of repayment of a loan has no application to the fund transfers Steven Ingersoll made to his solely-owned businesses and himself using money belonging to the GTA.
Saying there is no merit to Steven Ingersoll’s claim that “repayments” allegedly made by Ingersoll in years following 2009 and 2010 are relevant to the tax evasions charges pending against him the government stated that “obviates the need for an adjournment to allow the forensic accountant, hired by Steven Ingersoll a year ago, conduct an analysis of Steven Ingersoll’s 2011, 2012 and 2013 finances.”
In addition, the government references Steven Ingersoll’s November 13 motion, and Hammel's complaint that he has to “look at the records of nine different personal bank accounts used by Steven Ingersoll” to determine where Ingersoll put the funds he took from the GTA, as hardly a basis for granting the requested adjournment.
Unlike the investigators who worked on this case, the government response points out that “the accountant hired by Steven Ingersoll has ready access to both the records belonging to Ingersoll and also to Steven Ingersoll himself.”
The government maintains that it's reasonable to expect that Steven Ingersoll can provide very beneficial assistance to his forensic accountant in that endeavor, making it possible for the task to be completed without the necessity of a two month adjournment of the trial.
Judge Thomas L. Ludington has scheduled a hearing on Ingersoll's motion for Tuesday, November 18 at 2:00pm in Bay City.