Saturday, April 15, 2017

Q&A: A Point-By-Point Response To Martin Crandall's Affidavit...As Steven Ingersoll Might Do!

Citing “logistical obstacles” related to his incarceration in a federal prison camp, former Smart Schools Management, Inc. grifter Steven Ingersoll has asked for more time to respond to the government's March 20, 2017 opposition to his motion to vacate his federal tax fraud conviction.

Here's my take on Ingersoll's response...all 24 points. In case you haven't noticed, this is a parody, like the rest of Ingersoll's case.

1. I have reviewed Defendant Steven Ingersoll's Petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 recently filed in this matter. I would like to point out that the founding principles of visual learning still play a central role at the Grand Traverse Academy…not that this case has anything to do with the charter school I founded in 2000 with a chap named Mark Noss. 

2. I represented Mr. Ingersoll along with my associate Todd Skowronski and co-counsel Jan Geht. Skowronski! He should be expunged from the history of this case, and my illustrious past. 

3. I chose Mr. Skowronski to work on this case with me because of many other matters, including a recently complicated, lengthy and successful trial in the U. S. District Court in Detroit which he had assisted me on. Further knowing his talent, skill, excellent work ethic, and attention to detail from many prior cases, I asked him to participate in this case with me, and he agreed. Translation: Crandall’s drinking buddy! 

4. Contrary to Mr. Ingersoll's several allegations, I never threatened him that I would withdraw from the case, nor did I ever contemplate withdrawal; rather, at the end of 2014 after an accumulation of an account receivable (AR) exceeding $86,000, and being told by Mr. Ingersoll that he could not pay that AR in 2014, but could when loans were approved in 2015, I offered him a bridge loan of $86,000 to satisfy my Firm before year end. Subsequently, I was not involved in further discussions with Ingersoll and his wife as to security going forward and modification of the Retainer Agreement — those matters were handled by our Firm's real estate lawyers whom I put Mr. Ingersoll in contact with. In the midst of trial, at the zenith of my vulnerability, Crandall and Clark Hill renewed the threat of withdrawal of representation. This time, the vig was increased with the suggested remedy being my wife’s personal guaranty along with mortgages against our family home and 900 5th Street, the site of our only remaining business (except that gushing, Mark Noss-fueled public teat that keeps me and wifey alive): the Webster House Bed & Breakfast. I mean, the Webster House is worth at least $1.1 million— and if you don’t believe me, ask my money pimp, Brad Habermehl. Dude almost raised $300K for me…while he was president of the Grand Traverse Academy board. Now, that’s gangsta! 

5. My representation of Ingersoll began approximately October 17, 2013, when I met with Mr. Ingersoll and Mr. Geht in Grand Rapids, Michigan to discuss the matter and the possible replacement of other counsel whom he had working for him and with him at that time. You call that a “meeting”? Cheapskate Crandall didn’t even bring food with him: no donuts, rugelach, lemon sponge cake! Nothing!! 

6. Early in the representation, it was determined that the defense team needed a forensic accountant, and I introduced Mr. Ingersoll and Mr. Geht to Mr. David Hammel on October 26, 2013, in a telephone conference call. “Forensic” accountant? I’m not dead yet! And what was he hired to do…take my fingerprints? 

7. The Indictment was unsealed in early April 2014. Define “unsealed”. Are we talking an envelope? 

8. Mr. Ingersoll and his wife met Mr. Skowronski and I at my office on or about April 9, 2014 for most of the day. Or as Mr. Skowronski called it, “Happy Hours”. 

9. Mr. Skowronski and I had adjacent offices in our Detroit office and we worked on this matter, meeting frequently from the date of the Indictment through the end of the year, and ultimately through the end of the trial. Yeah, with a concealed passage between their offices so Crandall and Skowronski could both access that secret “Hide-A-Way” liquor cabinet! 

10. Mr. Hammel worked with us throughout that time period working on specific projects as designated by Ingersoll and Geht. Big deal! Hammel’s February 9, 2016 letter to Geht has a real short laundry list: “conduct a forensic examination of the financial records, financial transactions of Dr. Steven J. Ingersoll, Smart Schools, Inc., Smart Schools Management and all Bay City initiatives” relating to my federal tax case. Blah, blah, blah! Dude didn’t even look at the worst cons I pulled, like draining the Grand Traverse Academy coffers right under the pinched noses of the board. And cutting some of those leeches into my action—you all know who you are! I have more brains in my foreskin than Hammel has in his head—the big one. 

11. There was a clear division of labor and responsibility for trial preparation with Mr. Geht focusing on tax issues related to counts 2, 6, and 7. Mr. Geht took primary responsibility for Ingersoll's defense on those tax charges issues because of his particular tax and accounting expertise, his prior Department of Justice Tax Division employment, and the fact that he is a Certified Public Accountant. Mr. Skowronski and I focused on defending Ingersoll against the mail and wire fraud charges in counts 1, 3, 4 and 5. Damn! I’m suing the wrong law firm? That’s the last time I represent myself. Pro se, my ass! 

12. It was determined early on that I would do the opening statement, the closing argument; and witnesses were divided between Mr. Geht and I with the tax and accounting issues focused on by Mr. Geht. Sure, take the credit for opening and closing, and most of what occurred between the two! I’m betting you could never make your neck flush dark purple like Geht’s did. 

13. During the trial of this matter, much of the defense team resided in one of Mr. Ingersoll's buildings in Bay City — The Webster House. While there, group discussions covered the defenses to the tax counts which I understood, but left development of the defense to Mr. Geht, which Mr. Ingersoll understood and agreed to. I agreed to that stuff while binge-watching “Game of Thrones”. How can I be expected to concentrate when Peter Dinklage is burning up the screen? Come on, that dude’s a genius! I should have hired him to defend me. 

14. In addition to reviewing Mr. Ingersoll's 2255 pleading, I have also reviewed Ms. Hackett's testimony, my opening statement and closing argument in this matter in preparation for this affidavit. Reviewed her testimony? She says I told her that I needed to have the $3.5 million I filched from the Grand Traverse Academy tbe characterized as a loan, but everyone knows I never have to pay that money back! Hell, the Grand Traverse Academy board already let me off the hook: they wrote off the money to bad debt, and never sued me to recover it. And it’s actually closer to $5.0 million, and not $3.5 million, anyway. 

15. When not in court, Mr. Skowronski and I met every day that we were in Bay City, typically early, and late. What else is there to do in Bay City, other than eat boozy pancakes in the morning and drink Irish cream nightcaps in the evening? He didn’t say they were working, did he? No, he didn't! 

16. Often times after a court appearance, I would give Mr. Skowronski a project to assist me in preparation for the next day's examination, and he would provide work product to me regularly and timely as requested, often late at night. I did not witness anything untoward about his work ethic, his work habits or his demeanor. He was the same reliable lawyer I have known and worked with for several years. So who left all those liquor bottles under Skowronski’s bed, the housekeeper? Hmmm…

17. We collaborated everyday throughout the term of the trial, including days when we were not in court, and every weekend. We coordinated private investigation by a retired FBI agent, and we met on a few occasions with Chemical Bank's potential witnesses. Further, I would meet early mornings with witnesses at the Federal Building, which witnesses arrived early because they were in custody. Crandall, your envy and malice were laid bare at trial. You have disgraced yourself. As to the issue of my owning the Webster House, as much as you would like to, you can’t simply steal my property. I think my unindicted co-conspirators have a bit more insight as to the propriety of my financial transactions than the mob of basement dwellers with whom you are aligned. 

18. On the day before the defense closing, there was some discussion about Mr. Ingersoll testifying or not, but it was made clear to him that it was his decision. Ingersoll made the decision not to testify. Have you never heard of “stage fright”? 

19. I did not advocate that Mr. Ingersoll not testify. I merely opined on some of the dangers inherent to that process. Oh, like the danger of going to prison? Guess where I am now…I’ll wait 41 months for your answer. 

20. I surely did not predict winning the case with or without Mr. Ingersoll's testimony. No? Who tossed that coin, then? It wasn’t me. 

 21. I spent most of the evening before closing argument alone in my room reviewing trial notes, memoranda of my own and from Mr. Skowronski, and asked Mr. Geht to give me a summary of necessary points regarding closing on the tax counts, which he did. Very early the next morning, I reviewed the closing argument with Mr. Ingersoll. Mr. Ingersoll appeared satisfied. Sure, I was satisfied, but not for the reason Crandall states. I was getting thousands of dollars each month from my ace boon con, Mark, and the Grand Traverse Academy board was about to renew his (our!) management agreement through June 30, 2021! 

 22. I believe I covered all of Mr. Geht's points in my closing argument except some that were handed to me just before my walking to the podium for closing argument. Like he couldn’t improvise! Trump did it all the way to the White House, and he’s an idiot. 

23. I have reviewed the testimony of Margaret Hackett and believe the cross-examination to have been effective for its purpose. Oh, sure, he would say that! Crandall let Hackett get away with conflating me with Smart Schools Management, even though I’m its sole owner. 

24. Mr. Hammel was certainly ready, willing and able to testify both in the trial of this matter and in the post-trial proceedings when he was subpoenaed to testify, but it was the Defendant's and/or Mr. Geht's decision, not my decision, not to call Mr. Hammel as a witness. Mr. Hammel was well prepared having reviewed extensive documentation provided by Ingersoll, and after several meetings with Ingersoll and his team of lawyers in both Bay City and at my office in Detroit. No, I chose to call my money pimp, Brad Habermehl, instead. At least he stuck to my script.

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