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Friday, August 31, 2018


Re: Comstock Construction Company v. Grand Traverse Academy, et al Grand Traverse County Circuit Court File No. 2017032334GK
August 29, 2018

 “According to the Court’s notes, a judgment/dismissal was to have been submitted in the above matter.”

So here we are again. Yes, another “asset” joke. 

Come on, you know you like them. 

This time the news? A Grand Traverse Academy civil contract case document dump—it's been settled, but the attorneys for the parties have yet to file the required court paperwork. 

According to Grand Traverse County's 13th Circuit Court civil records, the case was closed on August 7, 2018.

So we learn about it on a Friday. 

Before Labor Day weekend.

And four days before the first day of the 2018/2019 school year.


The case was filed against the Grand Traverse Academy, Mark Noss and his MDN Development by Comstock Construction on October 25, 2017.

According to Comstock's complaint, beginning on or about June 2015, the Grand Traverse Academy desired to build an expansion to its school. Comstock was seeking recovery of $214,861 in unpaid costs related to the GTA expansion, jointly and severally. 

According to Investopedia, when partners have joint and several liability for a debt a creditor may sue any one partner for repayment. It is a variation of joint liability. If one partner pays the debt then that partner may pursue other partners to collect their share of the debt obligation. 

In other words, all parties are fully responsible equally for the debt.

The Grand Traverse Academy was unable to secure financing for the project on its own “due to instances of financial malfeasance by a prior administrator.” 

It was decided between the Grand Traverse Academy and Full Spectrum and/or Noss, that a new company, MDN, would be formed to seek financing on the Grand Traverse Academy’s behalf and for “GT’s benefit in order to build the expansion to the School.” 

On July 13, 2016, Comstock entered into a contract with MDN for the design and construction of an addition to the Grand Traverse Academy. In its complaint, Comstock alleged “MDN did not have any assets and was undercapitalized, failed to follow corporate formalities, and acted as an alter ego for Noss.” 

Mark Noss, then head of the Grand Traverse Academy's management company, Full Spectrum Management, LLC, formed MDN Development, LLC, his private, affiliated property development company, on June 18, 2015. 

Noss, who never revealed his MDN Development business partners or investors, wasted little time locking down an “Exclusive Easement Agreement” with the Grand Traverse Academy to construct a 29,000 square foot building on Academy-owned property and lease it back to the charter school — inking the easement agreement on June 26, 2015, just eight days after forming MDN Development. 

Nearly eight months later, during a February 2, 2016 special board meeting, the Grand Traverse Academy board voted 4-0 to approve a “lease resolution” that acknowledged the Academy “explored and failed to secure various direct construction financing options” and has “received an offer to lease newly constructed facilities from MDN, LLC”. 

Although the lease resolution noted the seven-page lease was “subject to final legal/accounting review”, it was signed during the meeting by board treasurer Samer Bourdkani. It is unclear whether the board conducted a legal review of the lease before it was signed. 

Although it’s now moot, the 20-year term of the contract, and the financial obligation it would have imposed on the Academy, appeared excessive when considering that the use of the facility was to house a charter school whose budget is derived largely, if not entirely, from public funds. 

In addition to the above-market monthly lease rate ($30,000 per month, then levitating like a séance table to $38,000 monthly by the contract's second year), the lease contained a Purchase Option clause, with a price tag that delivered quite a punch. The “lessee (the Grand Traverse Academy) may exercise an option to purchase the building, fixtures and premises from the lessor on February 1, 2019 for a sum of Three Million Nine Hundred Thousand Dollars ($3,900,000).” 

The approved lease contract also stated that the two parties “agree that the 2019 purchase price represents an arm’s length transaction which reasonably balances the purchase price with the loan and associated risk to the lessor.” 

The Grand Traverse Academy would pay rent to either Full Spectrum Management, LLC or MDN Development, LLC, revenue which Mark Noss would have used to pay Comstock Construction. 

Noss, and his MDN Development partners, stood to make a seven-figure return on the construction, rental and February 1, 2019 sale of the expansion. 

So, where is the judgment...and how much is it going to cost Michigan taxpayers to bail out the Grand Traverse Academy?

Thursday, August 30, 2018

LET ME OUT! David Damante Already Looking To Get Sprung From His 14-Month Prison Stretch; Files Notice Alerting 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals (Bet They Can't Wait To Read His Complaint!)


“Please don't give this story anymore light. Who knows, for all we know, he might be going into witness protection. Very strong possibility.” 
Taryn Burns
July 5, 2018 email

On August 20, 2018, David Damante sentenced to 14 months in federal prison for violating the terms of his supervised release a 2014 federal felony conviction.

Beginning in August 2017, convicted felon David Damante bilked several people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, including using his purported ownership of two Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings to fraudulently obtain nearly $500,000 from three victims between March and June of this year. 

Arrested on June 22, 2018 for violating the terms of his supervised release, Damante was found to have violated those terms during an August 10, 2018 hearing in front of U. S. District Court Judge Andrew P. Gordon.

In case you thought his return to prison was as familiar as a high school reunion, think again: Damante wants out and his public defender filed a formal notice of appeal yesterday in U. S. District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Yeah, get ready for Season 2 of “Fakes, Forgeries & Fugazi”.

More news as it develops.