Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

April 26, 2014

Founder owes school $1.6M

TRAVERSE CITY — Grand Traverse Academy founder Steven Ingersoll, who also presided over its former management company, owes the school $1.6 million, a debt that hovers over his head as he defends himself against federal bank fraud and tax violation charges.

Grand Traverse Academy is a K-12 public charter school on Hammond Road that Ingersoll helped launch in 2000. His company, Smart Schools Management Inc., ran the charter school’s human resources and financial services wings until about a month before authorities announced an indictment against Ingersoll early this month.

Federal authorities contend Ingersoll used an unspecified amount of money from a $1.8 million bank loan that was supposed to be used to construct a school in Bay City to pay off some of his debt to Grand Traverse Academy.

Academy officials prepaid Smart Schools $2.3 million, and $1.6 million that’s still owed could hang in the balance of Ingersoll’s case, his lawyer said.

“If we’re successful, it can be repaid. If we’re unsuccessful, I think Dr. Ingersoll is going to have to look at his finances,” said Jan Geht, the lawyer who represents Ingersoll.

School officials said they severed ties with Ingersoll at his suggestion to prevent his pending case from casting a shadow over the school. But at least one strong thread ties Grand Traverse Academy and its new management company with Ingersoll: Mark Noss, another school founder and former board president who’s closely worked with Ingersoll for over 20 years.

Noss launched Full Spectrum Management, LLC, to take over for Smart Schools. Noss and Ingersoll are both optometrists who went to school together and collaborated 20 years ago to come up with the Integrated Visual Learning program, which applies behavioral optometry concepts to education.

Noss said he knew nothing of the transactions that placed Ingersoll on federal prosecutors’ radar.

“I’m surprised by the indictment because I only know Steve Ingersoll as a professional colleague,” Noss said. “I’ve only known Dr. Ingersoll to be of high character.”

Text Only

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl