With so much new information, it will take a while to analyze. Here are some nuggets that reveal a stunning theory by the prosecution: that Grand Traverse Academy board president Brad Habermehl was cunningly added to the board by Ingersoll in October 2012 to shore up support and wipe away Ingersoll's debt despite the absence of documentation in GTA’s audited financial statements supporting Ingersoll’s bullshit claim that the GTA board had agreed to pay him substantial off-setting funds.
In fact, during his October 21, 2015 sentencing hearing testimony (exclusively revealed in its entirety on this blog), Habermehl reluctantly acknowledged that the information regarding an off-set used in the “history” he manufactured and posted on the GTA website was obtained from Ingersoll.
More analysis later; here are excerpts:
“This is one of the many contradictory assertions made by Ingersoll: If the GTA board was complicit in Ingersoll’s deception, as suggested by Ingersoll and Habermehl’s testimony, then the GTA board itself is criminally culpable for purposes of an upward role in the offense adjustment for Ingersoll under the sentencing guidelines.”
“Habermehl did not become a board member until a half a year after Steven Ingersoll’s brother was interviewed by federal agents. That interview prompted Steven Ingersoll to hire defense attorneys for himself and for his brother, keeping the latter from cooperating with the investigation. Given the close friendship between Steven Ingersoll and Brad Habermehl, it is quite possible that Habermehl knew of his friend’s problems with the IRS before Habermehl became a GTA board member and actually joined to board to assist Ingersoll.”
“Habermehl’s contention that GTA is not a victim may be consistent with his personal opinion, biased by his long and close personal and business association with Ingersoll, but that contention is not consistent with the evidence received from far more objective sources.
For example, the forensic auditor observed that Ingersoll’s fee arrangement with GTA “provide[d] an opportunity for abuse.”
The May 7, 2014 correspondence between the Michigan Department of Education and LSSU stated that the pre-payment of management fees to SSM “may place the public school academy in financial risk.” The same letter outlined measures that LSSU could require the GTA board serving at that time to adopt -- measures that would have prevented Ingersoll from manipulating GTA’s finances to his own benefit.
The fact that Habermehl construed the forensic audit and the letter from the Michigan Board of Education to bestow upon the GTA board “a silver stamp” and as indicators that the board was squeaky clean indicates that Habermehl was far from a neutral and objective reader of the forensic audit report and the MDOE letter.”
“Some of the evidence presented at trial showed that, in the course of the tax evasion conspiracy, Ingersoll orchestrated a series of financial transactions that were motivated, at least in part, by Ingersoll’s need to restore to GTA some of the funds that he had diverted from GTA before GTA’s fiscal year ended on June 30, 2011.
Evidence presented during Ingersoll’s prolonged sentencing hearing reveals that Ingersoll had diverted GTA funds to his grandiose but unsuccessful scheme that included the renovation of a church into a school to establish the Bay City Academy.
Ingersoll and his entities did not have sufficient funds to pursue that project without tapping into the GTA funds that were accessible to and controlled by Ingersoll as sole owner of Smart Schools Management (SSM), GTA’s educational service provider.
Ingersoll and his co-defendants also sought to evade the tax consequences of the financial transactions conducted in the course of the conspiracy.”
February 19, 2016
Prosecution Supplemental Sentencing Brief