Every paradise has its snake, of course, and often more than one.
That whooshing noise we've been hearing for the past few months is the local Traverse City area business, media and law enforcement falling in line and pushing the narrative that “Crooked Steve” Ingersoll and his co-conspirators (Lake Superior State University Charter Office head and double-agent Bruce Harger, former board president and current management company head and Ingersoll illicit bankroller Mark Noss, former board member and current Canadian fish camp owner Brad Habermehl, who stuck the taxpayers with his five-figure Ingersoll-related legal bills) won't face charges for the staggering amount of corruption, shadiness and fraud surrounding the Grand Traverse Academy.
Come on, did you honestly think a local cat box liner would do anything to upset the cherry cart?
And, one year after our August 3, 2015 meeting, Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney continues his Hamletesque dithering over whether or not to formally investigate the Ingersoll gang.
Wait, what? You didn't know that I'd met with Prosecutor Bob Cooney last August about the Ingersoll mess?
Well, now you do!
And here's an excerpt from the follow-up email I sent Cooney the next afternoon (August 4, 2015):
Since my meeting with Cooney, accompanied by a binder full of documents even Mitt Romney would envy, I've consistently broken story after story after story revealing more of the nasty gristle clotting the deceptive meat pie known as the Grand Traverse Academy board embezzlement scandal.
While Ingersoll, Noss and the rest of their motley crew (board members who really should be calling their own lawyers!) have flounced around insisting the missing money was some kind of loan Ingersoll made to himself with other people's money, I revealed exclusively on this blog that Ingersoll himself admitted his ratfuck scheme during his sentencing hearing!
Q. But the rebate continues to grow because you've paid this year's money into last year's and now have to take more to keep the process going?
A. Well, the lion's share of the balance of that rebate occurred '07, '08 and '09 if you look at the --
Q. When -- I'm not asking you that.
Q. It continued to grow. It grew -- by the time of the spring of 2012 it was $3.5 million?
Q. Yes. It was smaller in the preceding year and even smaller in the year before that?
A. That is true.
Q. All right. So why?
A. The revenues were insufficient to cover the expenses and the amount of rebate -- the amount of infusion against the rebate that Smart Schools was able to put in -- the rebate grew by the fact that -- that the -- whenever the management fee was shrunken from 12 percent, that added to the rebate amount so every year –
Q. When, in your estimation, were you obligated to pay off that rebate to zero?
A. Say the question again, please.
Q. When were you obligated to pay that rebated sum to make it zero?
A. I don't think there was a definite date for that. I don't think that that rebate needed to be zero at any particular date. Well, at least until the separation of the -- I mean, the agreement was that at the end -- that became a conundrum of course because the plan was for me to -- once GTA was able to pay 12 percent, essentially –
Q. All right. Okay. I'm not sure that you're answering my question anymore.
A. Okay. All right.
Q. If you didn't feel that you were obligated to pay that to a zero by any particular date, what about that general accounting principle -- or government accounting principle 60 days?
A. I was obligated to pay that within a 60-day period.
Q. But then you create a new one?
A. Yeah, that's right.
Q. Just keep creating a new and larger one each year.
A. (Nodding head.)
What more do you need?
The Thrun letter?
You remember, the May 30, 2013 letter sent by Thrun attorney Meg Hackett recounting a May 20, 2013 meeting where Ingersoll admitted he owed the GTA $3.5 million but asked to have it characterized as a loan?
Cooney's got that.
What about the April 27, 2016 letters of recommendation written on behalf of Ingersoll by Bruce Harger, Mark Noss and Brad Habermehl?
Got those, too.
The damning federal documents featuring information leaked by a former accountant employed by Mark Noss (one of the six accountants Noss tore through in his first year of managing the GTA, firing five of them) revealing Noss made hush money payments to Ingersoll literally within days of taking over the Traverse City charter school?
Got that information, too.
Embezzlement is the dishonest misappropriation of money or property by a person who gained access to the money or property by virtue of his employment. In other words, it’s a fancy legal term to describe the phenomenon known as “dipping into the till.”
The word embezzlement comes from the old Anglo-French word enbesiler, meaning “to carry off”.
Believe it or not, the law of embezzlement was originally aimed at light-fingered servants in English country houses. There had been a gap in the law: “larceny,” which was the traditional law of theft, required that the thief obtained the goods illegally.
But theft by a servant did not fit the technical definition of larceny because the servant did not initially gain possession of the goods illegally. The butler, for example, was perfectly entitled to handle the silver for the purpose of polishing it. Unfortunately, he did not always put it back.
In the modern business world, embezzlement covers hundreds of situations, from the cashier skimming off the top, to the executive who diverts millions to an offshore account.
You see, embezzlement happens when the money is 'converted', or stolen.
All this aftermath crap, is it a donation, a loan, a related party receivable, blah, blah, blah makes absolutely no difference because the crime happens when the money gets swiped!
So while Ingersoll and his buds piss and moan about 'waterfalls' and 'undocumented intracompany loans', the reality is he took the money and the board actively covered up the crime.
And, yes, Cooney knows about that, too.
Maybe you should let him know that you know: email@example.com