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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

WHAT HAPPENED TO CROSKEY LANNI? Grand Traverse Academy Board Hires Rehmann Group, Accounting Firm That Currently Represents Mark Noss; Another Rehmann Group CPA Part Of Steven Ingersoll's Criminal Tax Fraud Prosecution “Dream Team”

“I think it’s a matter of segregation of duties,” said board Treasurer Samer Bourdkani. “We don’t want to rely (and) put everything on the Rehmann Group. If something happens between us and them, then we’re going to start from scratch all over again. We don’t want to rely heavily on one entity.”

Why not?

It worked so well for Steven Ingersoll and it's working still for teetering Grand Traverse Academy management head Mark Noss.

A couple things not mentioned today's Record-Eagle story (what a surprise!): according to the GTA board's official February 2, 2017 meeting minutes, Mark Noss reported that he'd hired the Rehmann Group to serve as accountant for FSM, not the GTA.

Although Croskey Lanni provided accounting services for the GTA's 2015 and 2016 annual audits, it appears that firm has been replaced by one with close ties to both Ingersoll and Noss. 

More financial hide the salami from the GTA board.

Christ on a crutch, who is writing this script?

Always ready with a newsworthy quote, board member and CPA Samer Bourkani (whose last appearance in this farce as its “misleading” man delivered the memorable “by hook or by crook” remark in a May 17 news story), returns with a another gem: “We don’t want to rely heavily on one entity.” 

It's too late, baby!

The roots of the current GTA management flap can be found in a November 21, 2013 email from Steven Ingersoll to his defense team, which included attorney Jan Geht, forensic accountant David Hammel and Rehmann accountant Dick Cummins.

In that email, Ingersoll writes to the group regarding an initiative planned to respond to what is certainly his impending criminal indictment. Ingersoll hired a criminal defense attorney in July 2012, and had previously been negotiating a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

That legal strategy shifted from negotiation to an “I’ll take my chances with a jury” stance, with Ingersoll hiring Rehmann Group as Smart Schools' new accounting firm. The move was formally announced by Ingersoll at the GTA's February 1, 2013 board meeting.

According to IRS Revenue Agent Michael Wisniewski, who testified during Ingersoll’s sentencing hearing, he and fellow IRS Agent Mike Kaza conducted in-person interviews with several Grand Traverse Academy Board members and office staffers in early July 2013. 

All denied ever having seen the page in the audit report that revealed Ingersoll’s $3.58 million dollar prepaid expense/accounts receivable balance. 

Wisniewski and Kaza interviewed board members Larry DeYoung and Leslie Werth, and each denied knowledge of the debt although each one admitted receiving complete financials, including the audit and the Thrun letter.

Except for Mark Noss. 

When initially contacted by phone, Noss denied any knowledge of the missing money. However, when interviewed in person in his office by Wisniewski (who was asked a point-blank question by the prosecution during his October 20, 2015 testimony: Did it ever come to your attention that the information given during that interview was different than the information given over the phone?), Noss admitted that he did know but claimed to Wisniewski that it was legal for Ingersoll to take the money. 

Noss admitted that the State Aid Anticipation Loan borrowing substantially increased during the years Ingersoll was helping himself to millions of taxpayer cash, with the borrowing keeping the Grand Traverse Academy afloat. 

Even as he acknowledged the stepped-up borrowing, Noss stated to Wisniewski that Smart Schools Management was legally under contract and entitled to the funds Ingersoll took. 

When asked why the practice was allowed to answer, Wisniewski testified Noss did not answer. 

In the first of two sworn affidavits Noss submitted for the defense in the Steven Ingersoll case, the former president of the GTA board and now head gravy-sopper at Full Spectrum Management made a number of unreliable statements. 

In additions, many of the assertions Noss made were directly contradicted by the statements — and trial testimony — of other witnesses. 

Here are pertinent statements made by Mark Noss in his September 10, 2015 affidavit

1. From 2009 to 2014, I was the President of the board of education of Grand Traverse Academy (GTA). 

2. During that time, I was aware of the fact that SSM extended financial support to GTA on an annual basis in the form of rebated Management fees and facility lease payments. This financial support was discussed at board meetings many times as evidenced by the documents produced to GTA by Dr. Ingersoll on or about January 22, 2015. 

3. In July 2012, upon my telephonic query, GTA’s auditor, Tony Henning, indicated that GTA’s accounting methodology of booking rebated management fees and lease amounts as related party receivables was proper and acceptable. 

Noss later filed another affidavit on October 20, 2015, where he described the February 1, 2013 GTA board meeting in greater, and more self-serving, detail.

So the GTA board, which has historically marched in lockstep with both Ingersoll and Noss, now expects us to believe that Rehmann, the CPA firm providing accounting services to Mark Noss/Full Spectrum and formerly part of Steven Ingersoll's criminal defense effort, will provide financial consultation and other budget-related services to the school and no one will raise the appearance of a cover-up?

I'll ask again: what happened to Croskey Lanni?


  1. Thank you, Miss Fortune, for all your work and tenacity. Hope the Michigan Dept of Ed and Attorney General, Mr. Schuette do their work of complete investigation and analysis of all the GTA irregularities. The GTA does not deserve any more taxpayer money.

  2. I agree completely that GTA should not be getting anymore taxpayer's money.
    The thing is, Mark Noss has to be threatening the board members to shut up or he'll take them down and the school too, don't you think? Unfortunately, nothing will change if the school doesn't get their own accounting firm and clean up this money laundering atrocity. I really don't understand why the Record Eagle keeps willingly hiding the true facts from the public. I am real curious what the connection is. Is it Mark Noss? Is it Ingersoll? Is it the bank? is it Noss's son-in-law Brian Lynch? Who is the Record Eagle protecting?
    Don't you want to know who is helping to corrupting your town and schools? Someone seriously needs to investigate this. Because you know damn well the corruption at Grand Traverse Academy is so deep that if someone doesn't turn states evidence and get protection, then they too are going to burn in hell. You don't mess with the children of a community, THEY ARE YOUR FUTURE LEADERS!

    An investigation has to happen, stop throwing money at corruption. Is that the kind of town you want to build?

  3. If they are using the same accounting firm that Ingersoll used then Ingersoll is still running thos whole scam. Mark Noss is just his puppet. Wake up people!

    1. I don't think Noss is Ingersoll's "puppet". They schemed up this whole IVL (I Value Loot) scheme together, if I remember right, to have a way to continually get taxpayer money. They've both been in the "I" /"Eye" business... in anything where they could get rich on some non-proven baloney.