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Thursday, January 15, 2015

WITNESS LIST? Those Are My Friends...And Long-Term Business Associates!


While the Traverse City Record-Eagle wastes time railing against imagined slights by TCAPS, your girl Miss Fortune is on the case — a real case.

Attorneys for Steven Ingersoll and his wife, Deborah, filed a joint motion yesterday in US District Court in response to the government's December 5 motion to modify bond conditions for both defendants.

The government motion requested that bonds for both Deborah and Steven Ingersoll be modified to include conditions that prohibit the duo from contacting, directly or through another person
other than the defendant’s counsel of record, the people identified in the government’s witness lists for United States v. Ingersoll, et al,  and United States v. Bradley.

And the response?

Read on, Macduff!


Attorneys for the Ingersolls Jan Geht and Kenneth Sasse for Steve and Deborah respectively — claim the Ingersolls “oppose this motion
because there is no evidence that either has or ever would interfere with or attempt to improperly
influence any witness and because the government’s proposed order would improperly interfere with their respective rights to defend themselves.”  (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge!)

Although the government’s motions were based upon the allegation that “Steven J. Ingersoll and others charged in this indictment caused Gayle Ingersoll and third parties to engage in inappropriate contact with multiple government witnesses during the trial of United States v. Bradley”, attorneys for the duo asserted the “motion is devoid of any explanation of what it is that Dr. Ingersoll did wrong.”

The government's modification request was spurred Gayle Ingersoll's lurking stairwell encounters during Roy Bradley's asbestos trial. 


According to a motion filed by the government on December 2, Gayle Ingersoll attended nearly all of Roy Bradley's eight day asbestos trial. However, on the day that the government rested its case-in-chief, Gayle Ingersoll left from the courtroom to “secure a new attorney for Roy Bradley and also to serve and attempt to serve government witnesses who had concluded their testimony with new trial subpoenas not authorized by the attorney for Bradley.” 

After the government presented its evidence at a December 19 bond modification hearing, Gayle Ingersoll presented the testimony of Elias Escobedo, who was Roy Bradley’s court-appointed attorney in the asbestos mishandling case. Escobedo explained that he had met with Roy Bradley and — at Bradley’s request — Steven Ingersoll, Gayle Ingersoll, Roy Bradley’s daughter, and Tammy Bradley the night before Gayle Ingersoll attempted to serve the subpoenas. 

Although Gayle Ingersoll’s bond was not revoked, Judge Ludington concluded that a modification of the terms of his bond was warranted. Gayle Ingersoll, described in the government's motion as “a man of substantial bulk”, was described as lying in wait for two potential witnesses at the bottom of the stairs leading to the ground floor of the federal court building in Bay City, a location that ensured that he would be able to confront the witnesses.

One witness later described the incident and characterized it as


Steve Ingersoll's attorney freely admits that Ingersoll assisted Roy Bradley and Roy Bradley's attorneys (Elias Escobedo and Jeff Day)
in mounting a legal defense for Roy Bradley. However, Geht claims that “Ingersoll did not take any action without the express knowledge of one or both of those attorneys.”

Uncorking a bottle of fine whine, Geht states that “the prosecution has no right to interfere with or prevent a defendant’s access to a witness.”

Pouring another glass, Geht goes on to complain that the government has not always been mindful of these principles regarding Ingersoll.

Despite what Geht calls the baseless nature of the government's motion, Steven Ingersoll would have stopped kicking and screaming agreed to the modification if it had been made more reasonable in two areas. 

First, the faux-lanthropist requested permission to maintain contact with several witnesses with whom he has a recurring professional and/or personal relationship. 

Ingersoll identified Mark Noss, Craig Johnston, Margo Abbott, Jim
Comer, Bruce Christensen, and Patty Engler as those individuals.

Abbott and Comer are employees of Smart Schools of Bay City, LLC (the entity solely owned by Ingersoll). The rest of the bunch remaining individuals are all long-term associates and all of the listed individuals are his friends

So are we to assume that after receiving the Grand Traverse Academy money torch from Steven Ingersoll, Mark Noss and his Full Spectrum Management didn't really sever ties “with Smart Schools Management to protect the integrity of Grand Traverse Academy as he publicly promised in his April 28, 2014 email

Oh, those family ties!

Quelle surprise!


Deborah Ingersoll's attorney, Kenneth Sasse, takes his turn, asserting that there is no evidence that Ms. Ingersoll played any role in the issues surrounding the Bradley witness. 

Sasse claims that Deborah Ingersoll has no criminal history and has fully complied with all bond conditions. The government is attempting to use a matter from another case, not involving any attempt to intimidate a witness, to modify the bond conditions of Deborah Ingersoll someone who had no involvement in the other matter.

Using timorous family retainer Margo Abbott as his example, Sasse casts the government as the bad guy in this drama:

The person on the government witness list with whom Ms. Ingersoll has the most contact is Margo Abbott. Ms. Abbott watches the Ingersoll’s home in Traverse City while they are away — as they will be during the trial of this case. 

Ms. Abbott is a potential witness who has felt that she was
being pressured to comply with the position of one of the parties.

The party, however, was the government, not one of the defendants. According to the IRS memorandum of their interview with her, “Abbott, toward the end of the interview, stated that she felt like we were trying to put words in her mouth.” 

Although the agents’ memorandum goes on to say they allowed Ms. Abbott to go over their notes to assure herself they were accurate, it does not change the fact that she felt they had attempted to influence her. It is ironic that it is the government that now thinks additional protections are required to stop the defendants from intimidating or influencing witnesses. 

Those scary, number-crunching IRS G-men, on the hunt for fraudsters and thieves!

Must have been their bowties. 

Miss Fortune will bring you all the details of Judge Ludington's decision as soon as it's publicly available.

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