He Stole Your Tax Dollars and GTA Tried To Cover It Up: The Continuing Story of Dr. Steve Ingersoll

Sunday , 14, December 2014 8 Comments

Miss Fortune once again provides readers with an exhaustive exposé of cover ups, shenanigans and denial going on with for-profit charter school Grand Traverse Academy and their former management company, Dr. Steve Ingersoll’s Smart Schools LLC.

What the documents obtained through an FOIA request to Lake Superior State University, GTA’s for-profit charter school authorizer, shows the GTA board was aware that Steve Ingersoll took the taxpayer’s money issued to the school to educate children as a personal loan to himself. How much money did the board know Steve Ingersoll loaned to himself? According to a tersely worded letter from GTA’s lawyer to Steve Ingersoll in 2013, the total amount was $3.5 million dollars.

In July of 2014, GTA’s board president Dr. Brad Habermehl (Another optometrist who also peddles vision therapy with claims it cures ADHD and Autism), read a statement into the board’s meeting minutes stating essentially, “debt, what debt? We don’t know about any debt.” The statement was made three months after Ingersoll was indicted by the federal government for felony fraud. Why did the board make this public statement? Essentially, they knew Ingersoll faced 30 years for depositing a large portion of a $2 million dollar building loan into his personal bank account in an attempt to pay back the money he owed GTA.

The $1.6 million “non-spendable asset” mentioned in the statement is in fact what was left of the $3.5 million Ingersoll still owed the for-profit charter school. Publicly, they decided to write it off until after Ingersoll’s trial. In reality, they admitted they were idiots to make this deal with Ingersoll’s lawyer in the first place aaaaaand, it’s gone.

So in summary, Ingersoll fleeced millions of Michigan tax dollars from GTA. GTA tried to get their money back, but realized Ingersoll was in trouble with the feds and backed off, deciding to cover up write off the debt owed until after the trial. The word that comes to mind here is accessory.

And even more importantly, these documents were obtained through Miss Fortune’s FOIA request to LSSU. So they also must have known what Ingersoll and GTA’s board were doing. How long have they known and what do they plan to do about it, if anything?

This brings up even more important questions: Is the Michigan Department of Education aware of what’s happening, and what do they intend to do about it?

These people are throwing your tax dollars to the wind trying to make it disappear. This is money that the state took from you to educate your children. Don’t you want some answers too?

8 thoughts on “ : He Stole Your Tax Dollars and GTA Tried To Cover It Up: The Continuing Story of Dr. Steve Ingersoll”
  • Ed Nerychel says:

    We need to get every dime of the money back. I don’t pay taxes to see it squandered on a system that is not proven to work anyway, and just continues to hurt a system that was not broke, but just needed some fine tuning here and there.

    • Up North Progressive says:

      I think before that happens Dr. Ingersoll will be spending a long time in prison. He is facing 30 years with the charges against him.

  • Board members were chums of Ingersolls- he and board member Mark Noss were pals from optometry school together. Actually those two with Kay Mentley started the school. Now Noss has replaced Ingersoll as “management” company for school. “Fired” Kay Mently (more like told her to run while she could). They are all complicit.

    • Up North Progressive says:

      Yep, Mark Noss and Ingersoll are business partners. IVL/Excel Institute is their vision therapy center. Current board president is also vision therapy peddler.

      It’s ridiculous how this school and business are run by friends or family members.

  • Miss Fortune says:

    I’d call it the “Friends & Family Plan”, but Sprint might come after me!

    • Up North Progressive says:

      I can see the ad now:

      Sprint’s new Framily Plan lets you treat your friends like family, so who are you going to invite?

      Steve Ingersoll: One wife because she helps write checks. One daughter and son in law to peddle IVL in their chiropractic practice in Idaho, my contractor and his wife who also helps write checks and removes asbestos at a discount. And my brother and niece because they’re not just family but part of my business too.

      My college buddy who is also my business partner who was the president of the school board of the charter school I started until I was indicted for felony fraud, his wife, his son in law who is now principal of my other charter school in Bay City and well, everyone on the charter school board because they’re all in laws or family of college friends or optometrists peddling vision therapy just like me.

      Except Kaye Mentley … okay Kaye Mentley can be on it too … these bills are separate, right?

  • […] criminal sexual conduct, or embezzlement. Why is Dr. Steve Ingersoll and Grand Traverse Academy not news worthy? Not only did GTA know Ingersoll was stealing money, the charter school board tried to cover it […]

  • Jeanne Ryskamp says:

    Wouldn’t the State of Michigan want to get this money back? Where are all the conservatives that scream about waste? Get the money back!

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