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Friday, July 24, 2020

REBUTTAL: Steven Ingersoll Tries To Cover His, While Sounding Like A Man Who Knows He's Guilty...Of Something!

If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?

James Brown said it best: “talking loud and saying nothing”. 

Steven Ingersoll has his nose so far up Mark Noss, it would make the rudest neighborhood dog blush.

C'mon, man, we know why you slid Noss in as your cutout at the Grand Traverse Academy days before your federal tax fraud indictment: it was the expansion, stupid!

Steven Ingersoll was an optometrist in Bay City, Michigan. He was also the sole owner of Smart Schools Management and Smart Schools, Inc., two entities created to operate public charter schools in Michigan. 

To run public charter schools, the State of Michigan first issues funding to authorizing agencies. Michigan gave funding to Lake Superior State University, an authorizing agency, which then deposited those funds into SSM’s account, managed by Ingersoll. 

With these funds, Ingersoll founded the Grand Traverse Academy, a charter school in Traverse City, Michigan, in 1999. 

Ingersoll proceeded to misappropriate funding designated for the Grand Traverse Academy, making millions of dollars in unauthorized withdrawals—doctoring the books to hide the evidence

Just when you thought petty criminals like Steven Ingersoll and Mark Noss, who couldn't run a whorehouse during a gold rush, were done, they surprise you. 

In my opinion, Steven Ingersoll has used money—over many years—as a leverage against Mark Noss. 

How can I say that? 

He did it before. 

In 2011, Ingersoll co-opted Roy Bradley, buying Bradley’s silence (and a commercial Bay City building) with a $30,000 money laundering scheme. 

From on or about April 2010 to on or about June 30, 2011, Steven Ingersoll, his wife, Deborah Ingersoll, his brother, Gayle Ingersoll, and Roy and Tammy Bradley, “knowingly conspired to defraud a financial institution and to obtain some of the moneys, funds and assets owned by and under the custody and control of a financial institution, by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises”, in violation federal fraud statutes. 

It was a further part of the conspiracy that Ingersoll and his criminal cohorts engaged in a series of transactions that diverted part of the $1.8 million Chemical Bank construction loan proceeds away from the Bay City Academy construction project and to a joint, personal bank account in the name of Steven and Deborah Ingersoll at Fifth Third Bank. 

While the $700,000 Ingersoll infamously routed through various accounts, ultimately landing in the Grand Traverse Academy’s Fifth Third Bank account on June 20, 2011, got most of the ink during Ingersoll’s criminal trial, while a smaller transaction was overlooked. 

It was a $30,000 transaction that co-opted Bradley, buying his silence, money laundering under the guise of purchasing a Bay City property (510 Columbus Avenue) from Ingersoll. 

Steven Ingersoll originally purchased the property for $25,000 on March 10, 2010 and later “sold” it to Bradley for $35,000. 

Ingersoll washed the money through his brother, Gayle, with the money ending up in an account he controlled with his wife, Deborah.

In a June 21, 2017 federal affidavit, Bradley listed ownership of three Bay City, Michigan, properties: 
1700 Center Avenue 
1016 14th Street 
510 Columbus Avenue 

The Columbus property originally housed Bradley's Thunder Cycle shop, and now is the home of his wife's used car business. 

Ingersoll’s tax attorney, Jan Geht, described the transaction the way we all hope a doctor would a coconut-sized tumor — “benign”, explaining that Ingersoll had sold Roy Bradley a “bike shop” for $35,000. 

Reportedly providing Ingersoll with a $5,000 down payment, Bradley paid the remaining balance in these steps: in May 2011, Bradley wrote a $30,000 check to Gayle Ingersoll, not his brother Steven. 

Gayle Ingersoll deposited Bradley’s check, and subsequently wrote a check for $30,000 to his brother Steven. 

In early June 2011, Steven Ingersoll’s wife, co-defendant Deborah, deposited the $30,000 check from Gayle Ingersoll, along with $9,000 cash into the joint, personal bank account she shared with Steven Ingersoll at Fifth Third Bank. (The government alleged Deborah Ingersoll made three $9,000 “structured deposits” into the joint Fifth Third bank account, using different branches to make the deposits.) 

Structuring includes the act of parceling what would otherwise be a large financial transaction into a series of smaller transactions to avoid scrutiny by regulators or law enforcement. Structuring often appears in federal indictments related to money laundering, fraud, and other financial crimes. 

Smaller transactions (under $10,000 in cash) are executed in an amount below the statutory limit that normally does not require a bank or other financial institution to file a report with a government agency. 

And the dirty little secret about multiple $9,000 deposits at different branches of the same bank? 

They still draw attention. 

Steven Ingersoll waited 282 days after Roy Bradley wrote his $30,000 check to Gayle Ingersoll to finally have the “bike shop” title officially transferred to Bradley. 

Crooks like to dangle a prize in front of a mark, eh? 

The rest of the story on Monday.