How many “white guy” lies, misstatements, fibs, cock-and-bull stories, fish tales, tall tales, whoppers can you find in this September 10, 2015 affidavit.
While the Grand Traverse Academy's beguiled board members may swallow this stuff like baby penguins gobble squid, some of us know the truth.
And now you do, too!
Let's start with assertion number two: “SSM extended financial support to GTA on an annual basis in the form of rebated Management fees and facility lease payments”.
In my opinion, this one's a real whopper!
Here's the real deal on this so-called financial support: as a way to get the Grand Traverse Academy's books not to show negative net income the years between 2005-2013, Mark Noss and Steven Ingersoll
The rent amount is unspecified (yes, you read that correctly!) but was determined at the end of each year by the amount needed to get the Grand Traverse Academy to a surplus so the school would avoid violating an important bond covenant — and continue the money diversion scheme utilized by Ingersoll.
And Ingersoll admitted the scheme while testifying during his sentencing hearing.
In an excerpt from his December 9, 2015 testimony, Steven Ingersoll recalled the hijinks that ensued between 2006-2013 when he presented his preposterous 'lease contribution' figures to the Grand Traverse Academy board of directors.
Ingersoll is questioned by Assistant United States Attorney Janet Parker.
Q. All right. The judge had -- I'm sorry. I want to go back to the question then, what did you present to the board as being the rebate at the time that the budget, including that rebate, was approved at the end of the fiscal year?
A. Whatever it was determined in the two -- the revenue enhancement and the expenditure reduction, the sum of -- well, both of those were presented as a part of the budget amendment, and I would always point out to the board that the change -- well, each time a budget was changed, the beginning of the year budget, the most recent budget and the proposed budget were shown in columns so that we could discuss the changes that were occurring.
And in the narrative discussion of those, I would certainly -- and I can tell you 100 percent of the time made it a point to point out that which was being reduced from the management fee and signed up for in the lease and, of course, not such a chuckle now, but at the time the board members would -- you know, when the amount of the lease -- I mean, it was for a small office, and it was, you know, $400,000 or whatever the number was.
Q. It was pure nonsense to cook the books to avoid --
A. Well, you say that. That's not what I say.
Q. -- having a deficit, isn't it.
A. That is not what I say. I don't agree with that.
Q. I know, I know it's not what you're going to agree to, so let's agree that it was a laughable figure?
A. Well --
Q. The board chuckled at it knowing, you and the board, that it was laughable.
A. Well, it was a methodology that facilitated what we were attempting to figure out how to get private side support to the public institution, and while it's pretty absurd to have this large lease number; and, of course, in retrospect, given all of this, not much chuckling going on now, but -- but that was the methodology we used and everyone was aware of it.
Ingersoll created the number...and admitted it on the stand!
Q. Right. And the -- why don't I put it this way: Can you explain to the Court how the amount of the lease was determined.
A. Well, as -- no, I can't explain that, other than the sum of the reduced management fee plus the gross amount of the lease. The lease was written to be determined -- I think the language in it said a retrospective determination at year-end. Of course, the reason it was written that way was to use it as a mechanism by which -- to influence that rebate position, so -- so I can't give you an exact -- I can't give you a definition as to how those -- the number was arrived at. It was well -- I can't say.
Q. Well, who arrived at that number?
A. I did pretty much
Now who wants to attend the next Grand Traverse Academy board meeting with me?
I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd love to sell.