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Friday, February 19, 2016

TRAVERSE CITY STATE BANK...THAT'S IN BAY CITY, RIGHT? Steven Ingersoll, A Line Of Credit, And A Local Bank's Dilemma.

According to the prosecution's February 19 supplemental sentencing brief, the "most egregious example of Ingersoll’s sentencing-related obstructive behavior is the false testimony he provided to the court". 

One example of his materially false testimony can be discerned in his attempt to convince the court that the money needed to start the BCA project came from the Traverse City State Bank line of credit account rather than from GTA. 

As part of his sentencing hearing testimony, Ingersoll stated: 

During the construction of Grand Traverse Academy – or of Bay City – of the Madison Arts project, I needed to put money into that project in order to get reimbursement from the bank. I needed sources for that money. 

I used my line of credit at Traverse City State Bank. If you look at the bank statement at Traverse City State Bank the – I had a million dollars available. I drew $756,000 from that line of credit from March of ’11 to June of ’11. 

I sent $752,000 of that to Roy Bradley and the bank finally blessed the work that was done. … I drew money off that line of credit and moved it from Smart Schools to me, to other LLCs that were involved in the effort to get Bay City done. 

Ingersoll also indicated that TCSB was aware of and agreeable to his use of draws against the TCSB line of credit to fund the BCA project and that an email exchange with Dan Stahl at TCSB documented that understanding. 

Although the email exchange cited by the prosecution is reproduced above, the text of both emails are shown below.

First, Dan Stahl's email to Ingersoll: 


I understand the issue. You have prepared for worst case – does the payment stream run through GTA cash flows or Bay City? Part of my dilemma is that the intention of our SSM line was originally for the benefit of GT Academy in our market area. It sounds like the last advance in 2011, which is outstanding today, was used for cash flow considerably outside our market area. My first choice ultimately would be to get taken out by a state aid note or other financing, paid in cash at closing. As an alternative, we could look at doing the state aid note for GT Academy (but not Bay City Academy) and take care of it that way. Third, if neither of those would work, could the Grand Traverse Academy provide a limited guarantee on the line balance, with the term out amortization we have discussed. Or, do have other ideas? 

Ingersoll's response, with a nod to his so-called "relaxed" 12 percent management fee (my, he's got everyone wrapped around his stubby fingers!):


I just spoke with my accountants and they agree with my line of thinking. They suggest that I present a resolution outlining the plan to the GTA board, get their approval, and then present the solution to you. The next GTA Brd Mtg is Feb 1st. The money stream to repay the termed LOC is already in the GTA budget. The funds from the LOC were always used for GTA cashflow. While TCSB LOC funds were not used for BCA purposes, Bay City earnings and tax credits along with TC earnings all flow to me and from there I planned to service the debt. As an alternative, I have dedicated a portion of GTA-SSM flow to the LOC debt service in my current plan. A formal recognition of that flow by the GTA Brd is what my advisors recommend. The GTA Brd is already fully aware of SSM’s LOC and use of those funds and have previously acknowledged that awareness of support as well as their long-term intention to respect the presumed (and relaxed) 12% management fee in a previous resolution. 

GTA cannot become a guarantor of the SSM LOC. But the funds already allocated to SSM can be used, so it should work out. 

So, I think we can get this wrapped up after the Feb 1st Brd Mtg, if that works for you. Steve

However, Agent Russo testified that he reviewed the bank records in the wake of Ingersoll’s testimony and found that approximately $120,000 from the TCSB line of credit account went to the BCA project via one of Ingersoll’s personal accounts, which is well less than the $752,000 now claimed by Ingersoll. 

In addition, in the email dated January 17, 2013 (shown above), Dan Stahl expressed concern to Ingersoll about the possible use of the TCSB line of credit funds for purposes other than the benefit of GTA. Ingersoll responded with an email that same day. 

As part of his response, Ingersoll told Stahl, “The funds from the LOC were always used for GTA cashflow,” and added, “TCSB LOC funds were not used for BCA purposes.” 
Thus, Ingersoll’s sentencing hearing testimony regarding the source of the seed money for the BCA project conflicts with Ingersoll’s statement to Kaye Mentley after the Chemical Bank construction loan was approved regarding BCA returning seed money to GTA and with Ingersoll’s emailed statements to Dan Stahl of TCSB in January of 2013. 

Both of those statements were made before Ingersoll was indicted. Ingersoll’s testimony regarding the source of the seed money for BCA also conflicts with the objective bank records reviewed by Agent Russo. 

The most reasonable explanation for the conflict between Ingersoll’s past statements and his financial records, and his current testimony, is that Ingersoll’s testimony at his sentencing hearing is false. Ingersoll knows, and probably recognizes, that the evidence indicates that he did not have resources of his own to start the BCA project. 

He also recognizes the potential adverse consequence to his sentence if the court finds that he obtained the seed money for the BCA project from GTA. 

According to the government, Ingersoll testified falsely when he claimed that $752,000 of the BCA seed money came from the TCSB line of credit account.

Still think this case has nothing to do with the Grand Traverse Academy?


  1. If I was bank guy that email from Ignatesoll would be troubling geezus and I aint no bank guy....

  2. it's all about the money! lots of lots of money. you're right the bank guy knew something wasn't right,the bank guy knew about the state notes,all about the money! what about the kids education?the teachers have retirement?I still think it all falls back on Lansing also they are the ones passing out the free money

    1. Oh you are right, it falls back on the State. Are they going to do anything about it? Only if we knock on their door loud enough.

      The people that own the newspapers aren't writing about this, why? Because the supporters of charter schools control the newspapers and they don't want people to know that chartering a school has become a big business money maker. It is the state, federal and taxpayers that are funding these private businesses. When does this stop?

      We have a chance right here to make a difference and take back our schools. Ingersoll still controls these schools and the people running them are his puppets. Close these schools, do a complete investigation and take back our money. Put the money back into our regular public schools that aren't run by private Limited Liability Companies. These private entities receive just as much money per student as a regular school but they have no transparency and no one really knows where the money goes. And the state keeps giving them more money.

      The one thing we do know about these schools is that the money doesn't go back to the students or teachers. If we don't stand up and fight for this our children and their children loose out. Close these damn schools and stop these money hungry crooks.

    2. I couldn't agree more when is everyone going to understand this is a white collar crime ring and it needs to be torn down.

      The lives of children and teachers have been altered and destroyed. Rawhide move em on up, move em on out.

    3. I emailed Lansing just like Miss Fortune directed,I am sure the big guy in Lansing knows everything going on,so we will see what kind of man he is too.
      will he be a good man? Honest man? Someone with a conscience?
      he has a chance to change a lot of lives.I pray God direct him.

    4. Miss Fortune suggested anyone who'd like to share their opinion contact Lansing, and it's not too late.

      You can write to Brian Whiston, Michigan's Superintendent of Public Education (WhistonB@michigan.gov); Daniel Hanrahan, Director of the Michigan Department of Education's Office of State School Aid (HanrahanD@michigan.gov); Chris Oshelski, Director of Lake Superior State University's Charter School office (coshelski@lssu.edu); and Tom Pleger, President of Lake Superior State University (tpleger@lssu.edu) and urge them to reject the Bay City Academy's untenable (and unrealistic) deficit elimination plan.