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Thursday, November 30, 2017

A PIG IN THE “PARLOUR”: Notorious Bay City Property Tax Deadbeats Featured In Holiday Home Tour

A genteel person refers to the nicest room in the house as his “parlour”, and it's usually reserved for company, such as the pastor.

When referring to a “pig in the parlour”, genteel folks are speaking of something more at home in a pig pen than in the parlour—like a prostitute at a church quilting bee or the decision by Bay City's Center Avenue Historic District to include Steven and Deborah Ingersoll's Webster House in this weekend's Holiday Parlour Tour and Christmas Market.

Bureau of Prisons Inmate #49952-039 Steven Ingersoll

The Association's president has stated the “goal of the Parlour Tour is to share the beauty of Bay City's historic homes with the community.”

But only one of the seven historical homes on the tour is a property tax scofflaw: the Webster House. 

As you can see below (click on the image to enlarge), the Ingersolls have not paid their Bay City Webster House property taxes when they were due in a long, long, long time.
One day before he was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison by United States District Judge Thomas L. Ludington, Steven Ingersoll (who successfully convinced this federal judge his broke-ass was too strapped to pay the cost of “a fine, the costs of incarceration and the costs of supervision”), miraculously scrounged enough cheddar to pay the $13,623.54 his Webster House Bed & Breakfast owed in delinquent Bay County property taxes on December 14, 2016.

The Webster House was at the center of a scandalous, corner-and-hole deal (proposed in late November 24, 2014 on Ingersoll's behalf by then-president of the Grand Traverse Academy board of directors, Brad Habermehl), with the bed & breakfast offered by Ingersoll as security for a $300,000 commercial loan.

On December 15, 2016, Steven Ingersoll was sentenced after having been found guilty on March 10, 2015 of three counts: conspiracy to defraud the United States, and two counts of tax evasion. 

But here's the thing: even though the government estimated his total tax debt between $550,000 and $1,500,000, and at least $2.0 million washed in and out of his pockets between 2012-2015 (years when he did not file a tax return, let alone actually pay taxes), Ingersoll's actual “criminal monetary penalties” were shockingly small. 

Judge Ludington waived “the imposition of a fine, the costs of incarceration and the costs of supervision, due to the defendant's lack of financial resources”. 

Ingersoll was ordered to pay just $10,145.00 to the IRS, and only $11,762.23 for the cost of his prosecution—an amount estimated by the government to be well north of $2.0 million 

The only tour Webster House should be part of is Bay City's First Ward, except all the whorehouses and the Shangri-La Bar were torn down in the late 1970's.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

“WE HAD A READY MADE MARKET OF CHILDREN” Bay City Academy Pay-For-Play Scandal Part 2!

In early March 2014, Steven Ingersoll set into motion a plan that, if it had succeeded, would have allowed him to maintain control of the Grand Traverse Academy, build a long-desired expansion at the school and pay off the massive business debt he owed Traverse City State Bank (TCSB). 

Having renegotiated the repayment terms of his $989,825 line of credit debt with Daniel J. Stahl, TCSB’s Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending, in late February 2012, Ingersoll engineered a remarkably swift off-loading of that obligation from his Smart Schools Management, Inc. to Mark Noss, then president of the Grand Traverse Academy’s board of directors. 

A contemporaneous string of emails from early March 2014 among Steven Ingersoll, Mark Noss and Dan Stahl revealed a deal was struck on March 16, 2014 for Noss to assume the obligation to repay Ingersoll's outstanding debt, days before the GTA board voted to sever ties with Ingersoll. 

Noss wasn’t formally awarded a management contract until March 19, 2014. 

Right after he assumed control of the GTA, Noss began making $12,500 monthly payments to Ingersoll. 

Forced in March 2016 by a whistleblower’s disclosure to finally acknowledge those payoffs, Noss explained that he had continued to speak with Ingersoll “for guidance with respect to regulation, compliance, and reporting, as well as the requirements of the State of MI, LSSU, and our bond issue” even though he was barred by a federal restraining order from contacting Ingersoll during the early months of 2015. 

On July 27, 2012, five months after Steven Ingersoll renegotiated his $989,825 Traverse City State Bank line of credit debt, he hired Bloomfield Hills-based criminal defense attorney J. Terrance Dillon. 

Dillon would later be replaced by Detroit-based Martin Crandall and Jan Geht, who'd both represent Ingersoll during his 2015 tax evasion and conspiracy trial. 

By early March 2014, Ingersoll had rejected a plea deal, choosing instead to go to trial. With three days to go before Mark Noss ascended to the seat of management, Ingersoll had already negotiated the restructuring of a new deal, with Noss assuming the obligation to pay the $925,000 balance of a $1,000,000 line of credit loan originally made by TCSB to Steven Ingersoll's Smart Schools Management, Inc.

Tomorrow, learn how Steven Ingersoll set up his end in Bay City: how he took a $20,971.81 distribution from his Smart Schools 401K, rolled it into a Mitten Educational Management 401K...and made it disappear!


Monday, November 27, 2017

BAY CITY ACADEMY PAY-FOR-PLAY SCANDAL? Steven Ingersoll Received Piles Of Undisclosed Cash From Mark Noss Under The Guise Of “Management Services” And “Intellectual Property”, Beginning March 2014; Was Cash Funneled To Ingersoll In 2015 Through A Formerly-Secret 401K Transfer By The Bay City Academy's New Management Company Just Days Before Contract Was Inked?

According to federal court documents filed during his 2016 sentencing hearing, Steven Ingersoll took a $20,971.81 distribution from his Smart Schools 401K during April 2015. 

Ingersoll had previously taken significant 401K distributions during the calendar years 2012 ($217,000) and 2013 ($244,000). 

The information presented by Ingersoll in 2016 during the sentencing hearing process revealed he did not take a 401K distribution during 2014.

However, in 2015, with the assistance of one or both of the principals of “Mitten Educational Management, LLC” (a Limited Liability Corporation formed on April 10, 2015 by Michael Randel and Brian Lynch), Steven Ingersoll took the remaining $20,971.81 from his Smart Schools Management, Inc. 401K, which was rolled over into a newly-established American Funds 401K account under this name: “MITTEN EDUCATIONAL MANAGEMENT 401K FBO STEVEN INGERSOLL”. 

That's what we know. 

Here's what we don't know: 

Exactly how much money was transferred by Mitten Educational Management into that American Funds Service Company, Inc. account established solely for “the benefit of ” Steven Ingersoll? 

Did the amount exceed the $20,971.81 401K distribution Steven Ingersoll stated on his 2016 federal financial disclosure form? 

Why did Mitten initiate and execute the 2015 401K fund transfer on Steven Ingersoll’s behalf when he'd successfully managed two prior transactions himself? 

Where did the money go after the account was closed on April 30, 2015? 

And, finally, did the suspicious timing of this transaction—the Ingersoll/Mitten 401K financial activity occurred between April 10 and April 30, 2015 although a formal transfer of Smart Schools Management’s 401K plan to Mitten Education Management did not occur until January 1, 2016—have any connection to Mitten Educational Management receiving a contract to manage the Bay City Academy, a transaction formally announced by the charter school's board on April 29, 2015?

It's happened before

The complete story tomorrow...stay tuned.

Full report coming Tuesday, November 28!