Glistening, Quivering Underbelly
Newly-released official documents raise even more questions about Ingersoll and his inner circle, misappropriation of $3.5 million.
On April 27, 2016, just two days after the Grand Traverse Academy's April 25th board meeting, its AWOL president, Brad Habermehl, and the controversial head of its management company, Mark Noss, sent letters in support of convicted felon Steven Ingersoll to the Michigan Board of Optometry.
Yeah, shocked the hell out of me...not!
In an April 18, 2016 letter addressed to Steven Ingersoll at his Bay City home, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) directed Ingersoll to complete a Request for Conviction History form.
A Miss Fortune Freedom of Information Act request obtained official LARA documents, including the Noss and Habermehl tear-stained letters.
In his email, Noss stated it would be "unfair" if Ingersoll's optometry license was revoked, and Habermehl said Ingersoll's tax crime convictions "did not represent" his character.
Noss should have read Brad Habermehl's October 21, 2015 sentencing hearing testimony before he wrote his April 27, 2016 ass-kissing email to the Michigan Optometry board. (Yeah, I know, it was probably dictated to Noss by his master, Steven Ingersoll!)
If Noss had read the testimony, he may not have bragged about the now-debunked "History of Grand Traverse Academy" document.
The following excerpt, taken from the official October 21, 2015 transcript, reveals United States District Judge Thomas L. Ludington deemed it unworthy of trust or credibility: “we can accept it for the limited proposition that it is a history compiled at this time by unknown folks, other than the witness, that has been placed on the website, but it is not substantive proof of any of the factual materials that are contained in it.”
We open our scene with defense attorney Jan Geht handing the distorted "History" document to Brad Habermehl:
Q: Okay. Let me show you a certain document. Dr. Habermehl, do you recognize what I’ve just handed to you?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: Okay. And what is the document marked as Exhibit 13?
A: So this is the history of Grand Traverse Academy. This was put together with quite a few hours of not only myself but other board members and the management team to be placed on the Grand Traverse Academy website.
Q: And it was placed on the Grand Traverse Academy’s website?
Q: Okay. Do you recall whether or not there was any opposition among board members to posting this narrative on the GTA’s website?
Q: So the vote was unanimous?
Q: Do you recall when that took place?
A: It was soon – it was – it was – I’m trying to think, March of 2013 is when that took place, I believe. March or April. It was soon after the resignation of – the resignation of Smart Schools. [NOTE: The "history" document was posted on the Grand Traverse Academy's website September 13, 2014.]
Q: Okay. Do you recall what events precipitated the resignation of Smart Schools Management?
A: Yes, I do. Because of the indictment of the IRS of Steven Ingersoll, his passion for the school, he approached the board and said it’s in the best interest of the school that he step down, that it was not in the best interest of the school that he remain as the management team.
Q: Okay. And so to help potentially clean up some earlier testimony, is that the point at which you became president of the GTA board?
Q: Shortly after the indictment was unveiled?
Q: And is it still your testimony that you joined the board roughly five or six months before you became the president?
A: Correct. [NOTE: Habermehl joined the board in October 2012.]
Q: Okay. Can you describe the – what efforts went into creating Exhibit 13.
A: A lot of the efforts was going back to the year – back in the years on even how the school was thought to be even – to happen or become and, again, that – the big thing, too, is that we wanted to let the parents of our students know more about the history and why the school was special and why the school was even developed.
Q: And what efforts went into – well, at this point, I’d like to move into evidence Exhibit 12.
MS. PARKER: Your Honor, I’d like to object.
THE COURT: Is this 13?
MR. GEHT: Yes, Your Honor. It should have on the first pages –
MS. PARKER: Your Honor, I may want to do some additional voir dire here, but I object on the grounds of relevance and lack of foundation, and I think there’s a lack of clarity of the source of data used to compile this, and I would want to – if the Court were inclined –
MR. GEHT: Your Honor –
MS. PARKER: -- so at this point I think I would – should be entitled to inquire who was the source of the information and the date of that source. I don’t think it’s relevant, and rather than waste time on that inquiry, I would ask the Court to do that now.
THE COURT: It could be quite relevant, particularly the section on page 3.
MR. GEHT: And, Your Honor, I wanted to introduce it before I got too far into the weeds. I have no problem establishing foundation.
THE COURT: So I think that we can accept it for the limited proposition that it is a history compiled at this time by unknown folks, other than the witness, that has been placed on the website, but it is not substantive proof of any of the factual materials that are contained in it, so –
MR. GEHT: That’s fair, Your Honor. I was going to ask him all those questions. I wanted to introduce it first, but I can ask those questions, the more substantive questions. That’s where I was going.
THE COURT: We’ll admit it for that limited purpose at this point until there’s any further foundation.
If you have a high tolerance for bullshit, you can read the "History" document at this link: http://cdn.bridgemi.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/pdf2.pdf