Total Pageviews

Friday, May 12, 2017

“DR. INGERSOLL SUPPLIED THAT FLESH AND BLOOD IN THE PAST WITH ALL ITS RISK FOR WHICH HE IS CURRENTLY PAYING DEARLY” On March 18, 2014, Mark Noss Agrees To Assume Obligation To Repay Steven Ingersoll's $925,000 Traverse City State Bank Line Of Credit Debt; Two Days Later, Noss Begins Paying Ingersoll $12,500 A Month!

“It is imperative that this be done immediately since Steve is meeting with the prosecutor tomorrow.”
Mark Noss email
March 18, 2014

The Grand Traverse Academy's 2014 criminal crisis-fueled succession plan was stage-managed by the man at the center of the catastrophe, Steven Ingersoll.

Board documents reveal Ingersoll engineered the transfer of his obligation to repay an outstanding $925,000 Traverse City State Bank line of credit loan (originally issued in 2007 to Ingersoll's Smart Schools Management, Inc.) to Mark Noss—a transaction that was approved by the bank's board at a March 18, 2014 morning meeting.

In a March 16, 2014 email (shown below) to Traverse City State Bank's Dan Stahl, Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending, Ingersoll lays out the deal, informing Stahl that “Dr. Noss has generously offered to honor the SSM LOC in my stead”. (Tennis balls, my liege?)

Neatly tying a shiny, red bow on it, Ingersoll orchestrated a satisfying conclusion to the $925,000 weight formerly hanging around his neck—by winding it tightly instead around the weather-beaten neck of Mark Noss.

Stating that Noss had agreed to assume “a ten year amortization after one year of interest only”, Ingersoll laid out the deal: Noss would offer as his only collateral his new SSM successor company’s management fee of 9% as illustrated. 

The 9 % allows GTA to absorb the prepaid converted to expense in FYE 14 while recovering from the resultant deficit by FYE 15. Please supply a letter outlining parameters required by the bank as early as possible. Please call me and/or Dr. Noss with questions. Thank you for your kind expression of concern. 

In a March 18, 2014 email addressed to former superintendent Kaye Mentley, Noss acknowledges the seeming inevitability of Ingersoll's conviction and incarceration, employing a scaring-the-shit-out-you method by erroneously insinuating that Traverse City State Bank would seek repayment of Ingersoll's $925,000 debt from the GTA:

“We now know that it is likely Steve is going to jail. They are getting him for tax evasion for the pre-pay that has sat on GTA’s books they are claiming is income. SSM will no longer exist. I have been in contact with TC State Bank. As you will see in their document below, they consider GTA the recipient of the line of credit. They have implied that it is now GTA that owes them the balance of this debt. I have decided to form a new management company and assume this million dollar liability to prevent this media incident and meet our obligation. TC Bank has agreed to transfer this liability to the new management company. Their stipulation is to release SSM’s collateralized 12% management fee but replace it with a 9% collateralized fee in order to provide a reasonable means of repayment. Final approval of the finance restructuring will formally take place at TC State Bank’s board meeting this morning. It is imperative that this be done immediately since Steve is meeting with the prosecutor tomorrow. I will keep the same support staff in place and provide a seamless transition for the board, administration, and school. I have been in contact with LSSU and they are supportive of the plan. I have polled the board members are they are also in agreement. A special board meeting is planned for this Wednesday morning to execute this change. Kaye, I hope you are supportive of this. It is the best possible scenario considering the timetable and will allow for elimination of the TC State debt, avoid a potentially damaging media travesty and provide a seamless transition for students, parents and staff. I have also attached the new management contract which is identical to the one currently in place with the exception of the reduction in management fee.”

The next morning, March 19, 2014, Mark Noss waltzed into a special board meeting with the line of credit repayment agreement arranged by Steve Ingersoll, employing it as the rationale for the hiring of his yet-to-be-incorporated management company. 

And later that day, Noss began making monthly $12,500 payments to Steven Ingersoll, secret payments that would not be exposed for nearly two years.

Here are the terms of the Noss-as-schnook line of credit loan deal, as relayed to Steven Ingersoll on March 17, 2014 in a 6:32pm email from Dan Stahl:

I am writing to convey our approval and acceptance of a proposed $925,000 loan restructure to a new entity, originally made to Smart Schools Management, Inc. for the benefit of interim cash flow relief for Grand Traverse Academy. 

Since 2004, Traverse City State Bank and Grand Traverse Academy have had a productive and mutually beneficial community banking relationship. We were proud to finance the $3.5 million construction of the Academy’s high school addition in 2004. Subsequently, to aid in financing the successful growth of the Academy, we participated in several state aid notes and assisted with bridge financing until long term funding was secured through the 2007 Bond. In 2010, we also ensured that take-out financing would be available upon the expiration of the lease purchase option of the north parking lot and Three Mile Road entrance to the campus. 

Through all of these transactions, the Bank worked closely with Dr. Steven Ingersoll in order to optimize loan structures that would accommodate the Academy’s ongoing operational and growth strategies. 

We also continue to service the Academy’s checking accounts, have participated at school-sponsored events and outreach, and look forward to being a business partner with Grand Traverse Academy well into the future. 

In 2007, Dr. Ingersoll approached us about providing a line of credit that would satisfy Grand Traverse Academy’s interim cash flow needs and stabilize the peaks and valleys between state aid anticipation financing and accompanying revenues. The line of credit could accommodate the Academy’s growth targets without the added expense of originating a new loan each time funds were needed. It was our understanding that Grand Traverse Academy could not directly enter into such a transaction even though the Academy would be the beneficiary of such an arrangement. 

We established a line of credit to Smart Schools Management in 2007 for $500,000. The line eventually grew to $1,000,000 by 2010 as Academy growth necessitated. From origination, the line of credit was personally guaranteed by Dr. Ingersoll and secured with all business assets of Smart Schools Management, an assignment of life insurance, and, most importantly, a direct assignment of Smart Schools’ management receivable contract with Grand Traverse Academy based on 12% of revenues. This collateral structure was deemed appropriate by the Bank and Smart Schools since funds passed through Smart Schools to the Academy, who was the beneficiary of the cash flow proceeds. 

From 2007 through 2011, the line worked well and helped the Academy save in financing expenses from other potential short term resources. 

Today we share in a kind expression of concern regarding the current distressing circumstances occurring with Smart Schools, Dr. Ingersoll and his family. Further, we truly appreciate you, Dr. Noss, stepping up to assume the role of managing the operations of the Academy currently provided by Smart Schools. 

As stated previously, Traverse City State Bank is in agreement to restructure the remaining balance of approximately $925,000 to your new management entity. We also agree to allow the management fee paid by Grand Traverse Academy to be reduced from 12% down to 9%, thus allowing a rapid recovery of the Academy’s deficit while also providing you sufficient revenue to repay this debt over an acceptable time period. 

To further aid in this strategy, we have agreed to extend our repayment period from five years to ten years, and reduce the interest rate from a floating rate that is currently at 5%, down to a fixed rate of 4% for the entire term of the repayment period. Finally, we will offer an “interest only” payment period for the first 12 months, resulting in a total eleven year repayment period. 

It will be most helpful for our file if there can be a resolution drafted by the Board of Grand Traverse Academy authorizing a new management contract to your entity at 9% of revenue that replaces the existing contract with Smart Schools. 

It is our intention to provide these accommodations to you in order to facilitate a rapid stabilization through this difficult situation. We are prepared to move quickly to achieve this end. Further, we hope our efforts demonstrate Traverse City State Bank’s continued commitment to Grand Traverse Academy’s success, and acknowledgment of its importance to our children and community. 

More exclusive reporting, coming Monday, May 15!


  1. Oh Ingersoll supplied "flesh and blood all right", but it was other innocent people's flesh and blood for his financial and psychological (and now crumbling) empire.

  2. I would like to have been surprised by the level of corruption. How is a board, a bank and all the idiots invoked fooled by this con man? Mark, your turn to get screwed by Steve.

    1. Wonder what kind of game plan, financial scheme/cover-up will Noss et al (and let's not forget dear old Steve) try to pull over the Michigan Dept of Education, Attorney General, and Uncle Sam now?

  3. The only way all these people can be fooled, is that they are in on the corruption and getting some financial gain. Check out all the board members, how long they have been there and their financial history, I am sure there is a story there. Unless the board gets rid of this management company and cleans up the corruption, the school will never blossoms as it could.

    1. Two current members of the board have filed bankruptcy, with one owing nearly $900,000.

    2. Must have been learning the "IVL" Math taught by Ingersoll, Noss et al. How can they even take such positions as GTA board members when their own finances are deplorable. Oh, that's right: They're friends of Steve and Mark.

  4. Hahaha serves him right. Ingersoll used you again Mark. And you thought GTA would be gullible enough for you to make them think they had to pay the loan off. Sorry buddy, but that loan is yours all alone. The smart move would be the GTA board gets rid of the management company, so Mark Noss can't rob them blind to pay the debt. Ok board members you gotta get rid of Noss and all his cohorts! All of Michigan and many more are watching. Come on board memebers you have heard this before, "Do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do". It's time otherwise the corruption will kill that school.

    1. The GTA board enabled Noss: FSM sought and obtained from the board in 2015 an extension of his management agreement from June 30, 2016 to June 30, 2021. (The agreement was initially signed on March 19, 2014).

      This was done to beef up his financial credentials to Traverse City State Bank, with the stream of management fee payments acting as security on both the TCSB line of credit and Noss' private MDN Development, LLC construction loan.

      GTA gullible enough? Looks like it may be worse than we know.

    2. How stupid could they possibly be as a board to agree to such a long management agreement! They're all probably close friends with each other and Noss, but just think what might happen if the State Dept of Education finally nails some financial repercussions on that board and Noss. They can all go belly up together in addition to the two who filed for bankruptcy.