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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES! Steven Ingersoll Pays Off Building Code Violation Fine One Day After Miss Fortune Blows The Deadbeat Whistle! And Speaking Of Deadbeats...What About That Amex Card?

One day after I revealed Steven Ingersoll's bench warrant, the convicted felon sauntered over to Bay County's court facility on Washington Avenue and paid off an outstanding $120.00 building code violation fine. The warrant was recalled after Ingersoll paid the March 16, 2016 judgment.

But Steven Ingersoll isn't the only deadbeat in his Center Avenue household.

Deborah Ingersoll entered a not guilty plea in April 2014 when she was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud. The charge was later dismissed.

Bay County court records reveal Deborah, a conspicuous courtroom clothes horse, was slapped with a $15,043.39 judgment on August 31, 2016 by American Express Bank. Served with a summons on April 15, 2016, Deborah Ingersoll failed to make payments as required by her credit card agreement.

On October 20, a “non-periodic garnishment” was issued, which allowed American Express to seize the money Deborah Ingersoll owed directly from her bank account.

The one-time recovery seizure netted American Express only $47.23.

By my calculation, that leaves $14,996.16 still outstanding.

Time for a yard sale!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

BAY CITY ACADEMY: Is It Finally Time For The Fork? Enrollment Freefall Continues; Fall 2016 Deficit Plan Projected 425 Students, November Count 346.

Sinking like a poorly-made popover, the Bay City Academy's official student count just keeps collapsing.

As I reported on November 15, the Bay City Academy's October 2016 Michigan State Aid payment was based on 398 students, preliminary headcount data collected by the Bay City Academy during the week of September 12, 2016 and reported to the State of Michigan on September 23, 2016. 

However, November's payment data (click on image below) confirms the precarious state of charter school founded and currently owned by Steven Ingersoll: it's based on 346 students at the foreclosure-plagued school.

In its approved deficit plan, Mitten Educational Management projected $3,578,417 revenue for the Bay City Academy's 2016/17 school year, but the current year calculation is now $2,800,440 — a drop of nearly 22 percent.

Monday, November 28, 2016

“CONFERRING AN IMPERMISSIBLE PRIVATE BENEFIT”: MDN Development, LLC/Mark Noss Construction Deal With Grand Traverse Academy Conflicts Of Interest, Possible IRS Violations Revealed!

Nearly 18 months after signing an exclusive easement agreement, the Grand Traverse Academy board has apparently pulled the plug on a deal the Traverse City charter school struck with Mark Noss, former board president and current head of Full Spectrum Management, LLC, its current management company.

Under the terms of the deal, Noss (and his private property development entity, MDN Development, LLC) was to construct an expansion for a new math and science wing and lease it back to the school. That June 26, 2015 deal, which granted a private, for-profit company an easement on land financed by tax-exempt bonds, was illegal.

However, it appears the Academy board never sought an attorney's opinion regarding possible conflicts of interest, including the Noss arrangement's potential for jeopardizing the school's federal 
tax-exempt status.

So why should you care?

Because it's your money.

Just image this scenario: every night, you put your purse, or wallet, on a console table in your hallway. And every morning, there's money missing.

It's not much at the beginning, so you might ignore it thinking you've made a mistake.

But it continues to happen, and the daily amount grows.

A few months later, in the middle of the night, you wake up and catch the thief who's been stealing your money — red-handed. You see his face, and you know his name.

But he just laughs, telling you he cannot afford to pay you and his taxes all at the same time, and needs to have the debt characterized as a loan.

And, even worse, he keeps taking your money even after admitting he can't pay back what he already owes you: around $5 million. Eventually, he gets your neighbor to agree to waive recovery of that debt...and he does it.

But, wait a minute. It's your money, right?

In 2012, the IRS identified its primary issue of concern as the possibility of impermissible private benefit to a for-profit management company involved in a charter school’s operation (however, a nonprofit management company’s operation of a charter school can also trigger IRS scrutiny and possible denial of tax exempt status).

Cozy relationships between charter schools and their management companies — like that of Steven Ingersoll and the Grand Traverse Academy, followed by Mark Noss after the March 19, 2014 Fidel/Raúl-like handoff — subject federal funds to serious risks of fraud and abuse.

Apparently emboldened by filing false financial statements for nearly seven years with its bond trustee, the Grand Traverse Academy (its board and management company) cooked up a deal that would have required five-figure monthly lease payments made from taxpayer funds.

And it almost worked...almost.

Charter school/management company relationships have long confounded the IRS. 

The IRS’s principal concern is that a nonprofit entity controlled by a for-profit entity may operate to reduce costs and maximize revenue rather than to maximize the delivery of educational services. 

The perception of a conflict of interest is unavoidable. Although the IRS has acknowledged these relationships for many years, it has established no defined or consistent approach in analyzing what relationships are permissible for charter schools. 

Consequently, many management companies have become aggressive in creating and perpetuating relationships with charter schools. The IRS believes that in egregious instances, management companies have so profoundly taken control of charter schools as to vitiate the public benefit the schools are created to fulfill. 

In these egregious instances, “private benefit” or “private inurement” concerns arise. 

As described above, tax-exempt charter schools must operate exclusively for a public benefit – i.e., the benefit of their students. 

When a management company’s control of a school is pervasive, and where there is little transparency in regard to the management company’s expenditure of public funds, there exists the potential that the management company could operate the school for its own benefit rather than for the benefit of the school and its students.

So while the board has finally rejected its (misad)venture capitalist (“Relative to some big, fancy venture capitalist that wanted to invested in an educational building? No, that was not part of the thought process.”), and replaced him with a vulture fund specializing in short-term, high yield municipal bonds, questions about the deal still remain unanswered.

For example, why was there no legal review by the Grand Traverse Academy board of the deal before the easement was signed in 2015?

In addition to Mark Noss, just who are the MDN Development, LLC partners involved in this deal?

And will Noss compel the Grand Traverse Academy board to pay the “dead deal costs” he and his partners incurred?

Why should you care?

Because it is your money.

It's 10pm. 

Do you know where you wallet is?


HELLO, BOLO! Bench Warrant Issued For The Arrest Of Steven Ingersoll In Bay County!

A bench warrant was issued November 17, 2016 in Bay County for the arrest of convicted tax cheat, Steven J. Ingersoll.

Ingersoll failed to appear at an October 25, 2016 court hearing regarding unpaid fines and costs owed to the City of Bay City for an unspecified building code violation.

Hey, Bay County, I know where Ingersoll will be on December 15 at 2:30pm...unless he's already skipped town!