Burned-out building, subject of arson investigation, one of four buildings sold by Steven Ingersoll in July 2015 to a Bay City couple using “unrecorded land contract” method.
This afternoon, the federal government filed a supplemental brief asking for a restraining order under the All Writs Act to prevent convicted felon Steven Ingersoll from dissipating assets that should be used to ensure payment of the fines, costs and restitution that he will be required to pay as part of his sentence in his federal tax fraud case.
In its brief, the government revealed that Ingersoll “apparently sold four properties on Grant Street in Bay City on land contracts. All four properties were sold for less than twice the state equalized value (SEV) of the properties. For example, one address had an SEV of $14,100, which suggests a value of $28,200, but Ingersoll reportedly sold that property for $5,000.” The four properties are 606 N. Grant ($10,000), 615 N. Grant ($40,000), 616 N. Grant ($5,000) and 620 N. Grant ($20,000).
Unrecorded land contracts are sometimes known as a contract for deed. The contract itself is not recorded, but the agreement will state that the deed is to be signed over to the buyer and recorded at the time that the contract price is paid in full. Usually an unrecorded contract of any nature means that you are making payments directly to the seller and they will not record you as owner of the property until the whole amount is paid in full.
Well, that sounds like typical shady Ingersoll move — Ingersoll agrees to sell to Jeff and Cindy Bonem but doesn't have to record the titles until they pay him $75,000!
Here are three of the four properties, beginning with the street's most notorious “hot spot”, 616 N. Grant.
Apparently, the moldering hulk (that Michigan taxpayers are paying via a state grant to tear down) is worth $5,000!
Next, 620 N. Grant, a nearly windowless rat hole that garnered $20,000!
And finally, the formerly grand Eddy House, another victim of Ingersoll's Roy Bradley-inflicted “renovation”, located at 615 N. Grant. That one went for a whopping $40,000.
Another reason why my real estate investor friends in New York City and San Francisco laugh their asses off at Michigan properties.
But this isn't Steven Ingersoll's first time at the real estate rodeo. The government's brief goes into the Wayback Machine, and reveals that between March 11 and March 31, 2015, in the wake of the March 10, 2015 jury verdicts finding Ingersoll guilty of federal tax offenses, this cat transferred ownership of properties with a total value of approximately $139,300...for a total consideration of $601.
The value of the properties, even with the unpaid taxes, apparently exceeded the price for which Ingersoll sold them.
Any of you jackasses — and I'm talking to you, Mark Noss and Brad Habermehl — still think he's a philanthropist and not a thief?
The government asserts that Ingersoll also allowed at least six of his real estate assets to be foreclosed by Bay County, effective May 1, 2015, because he failed to pay the taxes on those properties: 239 N. Jefferson, 232 N. Jefferson, 235 N. Jefferson, 253 N. Madison, 407 N. Van Buren, and 100 State. The total of the SEVs for those six properties was $124,550, suggesting a value of $249,100. It appears that the property taxes owed by Ingersoll on those properties were substantially less than a quarter of a million dollars. Had Ingersoll been inclined to act in good faith regarding his local property tax and federal income tax obligations, he would have deeded those properties to the IRS. The IRS would have sold the properties and paid the property taxes out of the sale proceeds, thus benefitting the local government and reducing Ingersoll’s income tax indebtedness to the IRS. However, Ingersoll did not do so.
Oh, but where's the fun in that?
And as I exclusively reported this morning, among the six Bay City properties Steven Ingersoll currently has listed for sale (yes, Ingersoll's the Eveready Bunny of fraud!) is a former rental home located at 1022 N. Birney Street. In its brief, the government indicated the property is included in Ingersoll’s list of assets as reported to the court, though Ingersoll merely reported the SEV as the value and claimed a tax obligation of $3,628. (A sale of that property for the listing price would generate a return of approximately $55,000.)
The government is asking that Judge Thomas L. Ludington issue a restraining order to protect the public’s interests in the assets belonging to Ingersoll and his entities prior to his sentencing.
The hearing is scheduled for tomorrow (September 24) at 2:00 p.m.