Feds: “Ingersoll has been taking various steps to cloud the title to property owned by his various entities and to put his property interests beyond the reach of the court.”
FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF ONE DOLLAR: "PEANUT" GETS A HOUSE
Back on March 19, a stipulation was filed in federal court allowing convicted tax cheat Steven Ingersoll to contact a select group of individuals to "arrange his financial affairs and to prepare for sentencing": Craig Johnston, Mark Noss, Margo Abbott, Patty Engler, Randy Kienbaum, Walter Szostak, Nick Oshelski, Richard Cummins and one Kyle Andrezjewski.
Although I wasn't surprised by most of the names (including Bay City Academy board member Johnston, business partner Noss, longtime Smart Schools Management employees Abbott and Engler, bank executives Kienbaum and Szostak, Lake Superior State University charter school office head Oshelski and tax preparer Cummins), one did jump out for its seeming incongruity: Kyle Andrezjewski.
Andrezjewski, better known to his fellow Thunder Builders wage slaves at the Bay City Academy construction site as "Peanut", seemed an odd addition to the list.
But an affidavit filed yesterday by an IRS agent in Steven Ingersoll's federal fraud case may have provided the answer: on or about March 26, a quit claim deed was filed with the Bay County Register of Deeds transferring 111 N. Monroe in Bay City from Arts District LLC to Kyle Andrezjewski—for the consideration of one dollar!
Steven Ingersoll signed the quit claim deed as the grantor on behalf of the Arts District LLC.
The state equalized value for that property is $28,150.
But it doesn't end there.
On March 26, the same day the quit claim deed for 111 N. Monroe was filed, the IRS affidavit states that Andrezjewski went into the Bay County Treasurer’s office to request a "hardship exemption" from the $10,247.44 owed in back property taxes on 111 N. Monroe.
Hulking Gayle Ingersoll (left), Steven Ingersoll’s brother and former co-defendant, escorted Andrezjewski into the Bay County Treasurers office. On the hardship exemption paperwork Andrezjewski listed Roy Bradley's Thunder Builders as his former employer. Also, he listed his estimated household income for this year as approximately $8,416.39.
Nevertheless, the affidavit states, Andrezjewski "inexplicably
agreed to pay the county $500 per month for the back taxes owed on 111 N. Monroe", leaving him less than $2,500 to live on for the year...unless Andrezjewski has income that he did not disclose.
In a "threats and intimidation investigative report" filed March 13 on behalf of Roy C. Bradley, Sr. in his federal asbestos conviction, Saginaw-based private investigator Alan Ogg related his conversation with "Peanut" Andrezjewski: "Andrezjewski stated he'd been subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury in the fall of 2013 and that he had been subpoenaed by Mr. Bradley's lawyer for the trial in the fall of 2014. He stated he picked up the subpoena at Bradley's house. He said he had gone to court but was never called to testify. He also stated that he had never been threatened or intimidated by anyone related to the court case."
So, what's the name of this game? Cooperate, and you'll get a "$1.00 House?"
Even more galling, the court documents filed yesterday reveal Ingersoll was already transferring properties the day after he was convicted of three federal felonies.
On March 11, 2015, the day after Steven Ingersoll was found guilty, a quit claim deed was filed with the Bay County Register of Deeds to transfer the property located at 921 N. Van Buren Street in Bay City from Keith House, LLC to Norman Pennell and Lisa Kolanek-Pennell—for a consideration of $300. (I guess the Pennells didn't qualify for the special "Peanut" discount!)
Steven Ingersoll signed the quit claim deed on behalf of Keith House LLC and is listed on the accompanied "Written Consent of the Members in Lieu of an Organization Meeting" as the sole member of Keith House, LLC.
The state equalized value of the property is $30,800, substantially more than the $300 consideration indicated on the deed for that transaction.
And, just yesterday, March 31, three more quit claim deeds were filed with the Bay County Register of Deeds to transfer properties located at 101, 105, and 107 North Jefferson in Bay City from the Jefferson Block LLC to Charles and Mary Lee Militello.
Each of the three quit claim deeds was for $100 consideration, and Steven Ingersoll signed the documents as "Manager of the Jefferson Block LLC". The state equalized value for 101 Jefferson is $3,200,105 Jefferson is $5,000 and 107 North Jefferson is $2,500.
And, just to keep it "all in the family", Roy and Tammy Bradley's daughter, Kristy Wyson (the Bay City Academy's Business Manager) did the honors and notarized the transfer documents.
It seems like Steven Ingersoll has long had a habit of transferring titles using a quit claim deed.
As I reported on this blog last fall, Steve Ingersoll signed a quit claim deed on September 26, 2013 for 241 N. Farragut, deeding the "rights and interest" in the property to one Gerald A. Essex exactly one week after he was arraigned (along with Roy Bradley) on
four counts of illegally distributing and handling asbestos.
Essex, known on the job site as "Bark", was the crew foreman of Bradley restoration company, Lasting Impressions, at the Bay City Academy conversion project. Although Bradley was convicted on all four counts, Essex escaped justice and was found not guilty.
FEDERAL RESTRAINING ORDER: STOP INGERSOLL FROM "PROTECTING" ANY MORE ASSETS
The government's motion for a restraining order reveals since his trial began on February 10, and continuing after the jury returned its verdicts on March 10, Ingersoll has been taking various steps to "cloud the title to property owned by his various entities and to put his property interests beyond the reach of the court."
Based on the timing of the transfers, as well as the participants in the transactions, the government motion states that "it appears that Steven Ingersoll is engaging in a course of conduct intended to put title to his assets into friendly hands to keep liens based on the anticipated restitution and costs of prosecution provision in the forthcoming judgment from attaching to those properties."
As I reported on this blog February 28, Ingersoll's tax attorney, Jan Geht, provided his client with access to a $250,000 line of credit secured by seven of Ingersoll's Bay City properties just days before the start of Ingersoll's federal fraud trial. Geht's representative officially registered the "future advance mortgage" with the Bay County Register of Deeds on February 10 as Ingersoll's began.
And, of course, Roy Bradley's daughter, Kristy Wyson, was the Notary Public for that batch of documents.
Steven Ingersoll is currently scheduled to be sentenced on June 16, 2015. Based upon the proofs presented at trial, the government submits that "combining the tax losses from all of the participants in the 2011 tax evasion conspiracy charged in Count 2 of the indictment results in a total tax loss of $2,327,182.30", including penalties and interest, computed as follows:
Steven Ingersoll’s 2011 Personal Tax Due = $1,238,058.60
Roy Bradley’s 2011 Personal Tax Due = $ 564,393.28
Roy Bradley’s 2011 Employment Tax Due = $ 84,914.64
Gayle Ingersoll’s 2011 Personal Tax Due = $ 439,815.78
Total Tax Loss for 2011 = $2,327,182.30
Steven Ingersoll’s re-computed criminal tax obligation, even before penalties and interest are assessed, is $200,226 for 2009; $530,667 for 2010; and for 2011 is $942,132, yielding a total of $1,673,025.
Taking into consideration the applicable penalties and interest, the taxes owed by Steven Ingersoll individually for 2009, 2010 and 2011 is $2,699,673.48.
When the portion of the 2011 tax loss attributable to Roy and Tammy Bradley, as well as Gayle Ingersoll, is added to Steven Ingersoll’s individual total for 2009, 2010 and 2011, the aggregate total tax loss and restitution owed by Steven Ingersoll is $3,788,797.18.
In addition, Steven Ingersoll is also responsible for additional financial sanctions based on the cost of prosecution as required by statute.
Saying there is "reason to conclude that Steven Ingersoll has been transferring and that, between now and his sentencing, he will continue to transfer or liquidate his property interests to place them beyond the reach of the court and the anticipated judgment to be entered in this case, thereby rendering his assets unavailable for payment of court-ordered restitution, fines and costs", the government asks that Steven Ingersoll also be restrained from transferring his interest in property, including "intellectual property that generates an income stream" (likely the roughly $300,000 paid to Ingersoll's Smart Schools Incorporated by the Grand Traverse Academy for "curriculum licensing") pending his June sentencing.
Buyer beware, as the order the government's seeking restraining Ingersoll's assets in this case may encompasses "individuals
and entities besides Steven Ingersoll", restraining third parties from taking title to assets from him if the third parties are given notice of the court’s restraining order.
The government is requesting the eventual restraining order require Ingersoll to give actual notice of the order to third parties who might otherwise be willing to engage in a "transaction affecting the availability of an asset in which Ingersoll or one of his entities has an interest to satisfy Steven Ingersoll’s financial obligations to the