“Ingersoll’s failure to disclose the fact that he has been receiving $12,500 per month from Noss for two years is not an accident.”
An accountant formerly employed by Mark Noss at his Full Spectrum Management, LLC (FSM) sent a stunning whistleblower email to the Grand Traverse Academy Board of Directors on March 15, 2016 at 6:00pm, alleging Noss deceived the Board when he stated during its December 17, 2015 meeting that he "has no business relationship with Dr. Ingersoll at the present time".
The former FSM accountant disclosed information to Board president Brad Habermehl and Grand Traverse Academy employee, Heidi Sych, that revealed Noss had been making monthly $12,500 payments to Steven Ingersoll for nearly two years.
The incendiary email, sent by former FSM accountant Richard Lowe, and a March 16, 2016 response from Mark Noss, were both provided to the U. S. Attorney's Office by counsel for Lake Superior State University.
According to a supplemental brief filed late this afternoon by government prosecutors, FSM honcho Mark Noss acknowledged paying Ingersoll $12,500 per month since he took over the role of educational services provider for the Grand Traverse Academy on March 19, 2014, with the first payment issued in April 2014.
The government's eight-page supplemental memorandum was submitted to make the court aware of the newly-received evidence, and to request that Judge Thomas L. Ludington impose an additional two-point enhancement for Ingersoll's "obstruction of justice". (Steven Ingersoll failed to include his receipt of $12,500 per month from FSM, yielding $150,000 per year, in the financial information Ingersoll provided the government on October 15, 2015 in response to a court order directing him to provide complete and accurate information regarding his income.)
Mark Noss responded to the accountant’s email the next morning, on March 16, 2016, acknowledging that he has “for years and continue[s] to pay a proprietary fee for IVL’s Intellectual Properties that has allowed me to use it in my solely owned clinics, as well as more recently apply it in the GTA setting.”
The March 15, 2016 email from Lowe included attachments showing the payment history and the most recent transaction, which were not included with today's prosecution filing.
Here is the complete text of the Lowe email:
As you may recall, during the December board meeting held on January 15, 2016 Mark Noss stated that he had “no business relationship with Dr. Ingersoll at the present time”. I regret to have to inform you that that statement is false.
Mark currently has through Full Spectrum Management an agreement to pay Dr. Ingersoll $12,500 per month for “intellectual property” and has been paying this fee every month since April 2014 when FSM was established. This arrangement continues to this day. I have attached documents showing the payment history and the most recent transactions.
I have struggled with the knowledge that Mark chose to mislead the board at that meeting and have come to the conclusion that the right thing to do is inform you. Given the media attention concerning the sentencing hearings for Dr. Ingersoll and the concern that the board has shown regarding the perception that may be out in the public I felt you need to know all the facts.
Although these payments to Dr. Ingersoll are legal and are from the FSM account it still seems inappropriate to me that this arrangement is continuing. I have expressed my concern about this to Mark on several occasions to no avail. The school is not billed for these fees so GTA has no financial exposure from this.
Mark continually uses Dr. Ingersoll for advice on how to run a management company, cash flow management, and budgeting. Asking financial advice from a convicted felon who was found guilty of financial manipulation seems to show a lack of judgement and understanding of potential damage that could be done. I would think he would be the last person you would ask for advice. Under the circumstances and given the continuing media coverage, I think this places the academy at risk for a potential public relations nightmare.
I understand that Mark and Steve are friends and showing loyalty is admirable. That being said I think the relationship has clouded Mark’s judgement when it comes to Steven and he can’t see the reality that his ties to him could do to the school. No matter what course of action the board chooses to take at least you now know the situation is not as it was represented.
Noss responded to the allegations the next morning, variously referring to Lowe as a “disgruntled previous employee” and asserting that the “GTA has never been compromised and has only benefitted” from his continuing business relationship with Ingersoll — while burbling on about the upcoming ground breaking of the multi-million dollar expansion his MDN Development, LLC is constructing on the grounds of the Grand Traverse Academy.
The entire text of the Noss response email, as shown above, follows:
I was just made aware that you have been contacted by Full Spectrum Management’s (FSM) disgruntled previous employee, Richard Lowe, I apologize for involving you in this negative situation. I have been searching for his replacement ever since he verbally accosted my wife and threatened to “punch her”. I reluctantly kept him employed in the interim to prevent any financial risk to GTA.
I would like to address his accusations. As I told the GTA Board in January, I have no formal business relationship with Dr. Steven Ingersoll. Integrated Visual Learning (IVL) was developed by Steven Ingersoll and I have used it in a variety of ways educationally and clinically. I have for years and continue to pay a proprietary fee for IVL’s Intellectual Properties that has allowed me to use it in my solely owned clinics, as well as more recently apply in in the GTA setting. When I was awarded the management contract for GTA two years ago, I realized there was a tremendous amount of knowledge for me to acquire quickly. I have utilized Dr. Ingersoll’s 18 years of school management expertise as needed for the benefit of GTA. I assure you he has never had access to any of GTA’s accounts since FSM has become the management company. I have spoken to him for guidance with respect to regulation, compliance, and reporting, as well as the requirements of the State of MI, LSSU, and our bond issue. GTA has never been compromised and has only benefitted from this communication.
I encourage any of you to please contact me with any questions you may have. I believe you all know me well and my passion for the success of the GTA! Looking forward to seeing you this Friday at the Board meeting and the exciting ground-breaking!
For additional analysis of today's supplemental briefing, check back tomorrow.