}

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

MORE LEGAL WOES? Fees Mount In The Wake Of Brad Habermehl's Testimony; Taxpayers On The Hook?

In the cold, harsh glare of the shocking emails emerging yesterday during Steven Ingersoll's sentencing hearing, it appears we know more about the relationship between Brad Habermehl (President of the Grand Traverse Academy Board of Directors) and Ingersoll, a hush-hush, cash-fueled relationship that continued even after Ingersoll was convicted in federal court in March.

And that knowledge could help us all understand this exchange between Ingersoll's attorney, Jan Geht, and Habermehl from October 21.

Q.  As you sit here today, is it still your understanding that no one has ever uncovered any cash withdrawals or transfers that were unaccounted for in the accounting system?

A. That is correct. There's no unauthorized withdrawals taken out of or transferred out of the accounting system.

Q. If we go to the bottom of the forensic -- of page 4 of the forensic report in the summary comments it states, "It appears SSM" -- in the second sentence, "It appears SSM takes cash advances for their management fee each year in the beginning of the school year based on the budgeted figure.  At the time it is realized GTA cannot afford the management fee, the fee is adjusted downward in the school's budget, but the advances are not repaid at that time." Do you see that?

A. Yes.

Q. Is that consistent with the -- as you sit here today, is that still consistent with your understanding of the management fee rebate process?

A. That is correct.

Q. Okay. And were you aware of this process before receiving this October 13 forensic report?

A. Yes. 

Q. And were you aware of the process before Meg Hackett's letter?

A. Yes.

Q. And what was -- by -- in what way did you acquire that knowledge?

A. That was discussed at each board meeting. Of course, we were very aware of it. The big excitement part is that we had a management team that when we were short at the end of the year, and we were looking like we were going to have a deficit, that Steve, in his passion for the school, would step forward and offer a rebate on his 12 percent that we were contract -- in contract with him with. So he -- he then would pledge that money back; and, of course, he would wait for the funds to come from the state the following year to be able to make that pledge good.

Q. And in terms of the board discussions, and I want to stress this point, this was discussed at the board meetings you were present at?

A. It was discussed at every board meeting. It was very transparent.

Would it have been impolite to ask about the Academy's secret Fifth Third Bank account, whose existence was revealed to the Grand Traverse Academy board in Meg Hackett's May 30, 2013 "Thrun letter". not Steven Ingeroll? 

Or to note that the Grand Traverse Academy's management contract with Ingersoll's Smart Schools Management did not include a fee pegged at a percentage of revenue because (according to the IRS) it could be seen as an impermissible private benefit to the management company?

And why so excited about a management company that wouldn't return part of its too-large fee to the Grand Traverse Academy until taxpayers filled the school's coffers again?

Am I missing something here?

 








13 comments:

  1. Will there be any other witnesses the government plans on calling or recalling to the stand? From what transpired in the federal courtroom yesterday, does it look like Mr. Ingersoll will be questioned today and/or tomorrow before sentencing? Or maybe we just have to wait to see while this entire debacle unfolds.

    Again, the general public can not thank you enough, Miss Fortune, for all your efforts. Wonder if there was an Mlive
    article yet on this week's proceedings? This finale should be covered daily. But, wait, maybe Mlive and the local media will have time to redeem themselves when more proceedings/cases emerge?

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  2. According to December 7 prosecution filing, Ingersoll was expected to take the stand after Habermehl completes his testimony. As for MLive, I suggest you contact Rob Clark, the Editor of the Bay City Times.

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    1. Thank you, Miss Fortune. Since Habermehl provided some, maybe all of his testimony, it looks like Ingersoll will be on the stand the rest of the time before sentencing. One can sure learn a lot about the law with all the intricacies of this trial. Again, we all thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts for all you have been doing in this and many other crook/fraud investigations, uncoverings.

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    2. You wonder how much rehearsing Ingersoll, Habermehl and Geht did before the questioning? They think the public is stupid or will just naively believe this bunk. If the normal fee were say $1,000 and you prepaid the management company $1,500, it would require that you give the $500 overcharge back; it's not a rebate at all; it's simply returning the amount of money that was overpaid. If you go to McDonald's and buy $12.85 worth of food and drink, and you give the cashier $15.00, the $2.15 change would not be a rebate at all; it would simply be giving the proper change back to the customer. Just because the GTA and its board keeps on saying the same thing does not mean we're going to believe it. How naive or gullible do they think we are?

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    3. Thank you! This has to be one of the best, if not the best, refutation of the whole "cons-do-it" theory of a rebate. "Tell a lie a hundred times and it becomes the truth." ~ Joseph Goebbels, 1939

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    4. Your analogy would be more correct if you said: "If you go to McDonald's and buy $12.85 worth of food and drink, and you give the cashier $15.00" and McDonald's gave you $2.15 in change the next time you came to McDonalds and gave them $15.00 for $12.85 worth of food and drink.

      That is not a rebate but rather a ponzi

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    5. Good point. I'll have to binge-watch episodes of "American Greed" to sharpen my ponzi-scheme skills!

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    6. To the McDonald's purchase and proper change example, I need(ed) to add that in Mr. Ingersoll's case, he didn't even give the right amount of 'food/beverage' that was due and on top of that kept the 'right amount of change' due back to the customer (the overpayment!). He shortchanged the customer (the children, their parents and the taxpayers) the right/proper amount of their order and did it knowingly and repeatedly.

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  3. Miss Fortune, Steve is still connected to BCA. When the Bradley'so left, they gave things to Steve that he should not have had, without Brian's knowledge. Steve will not sever his ties until he is in prison, when he is forced to. The people that are at BCA, and have people they care about still at BCA are so appreciative of you. You have been a beacon of light and truth in the ocean of diarrhea that has surrounded BCA. You're the only one that will hold them accountable.

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    1. So you're saying that when Kristy Bradley Wyson and her husband, Shawn, recently left the BCA they gave things to Ingersoll?

      Who the hell is running that place, anyway?

      What "things" did the Bradleys give Ingersoll? I'm very curious.

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    2. This will make a great episode on American Greed on CNBC ;)

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    3. Mr. Ingersoll's defense team (Crandall and Geht) were using the 'conduit' theory of the money flow (alledged loan theory) and you, Miss Fortune, so properly and cleverly hit the nail on the head when you said "cons-do-it" theory.

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  4. I am so sick of all of these people from Grand Traverse and Bay City academies lying and stealing and blaming others for their blatant cheating ways. If all the people that were helping Ingersoll were let go, they would have to get rid of the board members, lawyers, accountants, the Noss clan businesses, LSSU and all of the administration because they are all part of his clan and they are all in on it. This is such a terrible example of educating children and a great example of how individuals rip off the government and then support the politicians in power by funneling money back to their campaigns. This has nothing to do about children and everything to do about a slick scheme to get rich, rip off the government and hurt children.

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