Court Records Show Prosecutor Vindictively Pursued Second Grand Jury in IRP6 Case, Says A Just Cause
Denver, CO -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/01/2017 -- On January 26, 2017, in the 2011 federal crime case (Dist. of Colo. case no. 09-cr-00266-CMA), Colorado Springs attorney Gwendolyn Lawson filed a motion seeking disclosure of grand jury materials to challenge the suspicious actions of Assistant United States Attorney Matthew T. Kirsch before the grand jury. Lawson believes that Kirsch vindictively pursued a second grand jury and engaged in misconduct that prejudiced or biased grand jurors into issuing an indictment. The first grand jury apparently rejected Kirsch's illegitimate attempt to gain a criminal indictment against six technology executives (known on the Internet as the IRP6) from IRP Solutions Corporation in Colorado Springs, for failing to pay corporate debts to staffing companies. "But if I don't pay somebody for the work they've done, that is not a federal crime," one grand juror pointed out in the original grand jury. In the second grand jury, Kirsch eliminated all defendants' witnesses that testified in the first grand jury, choosing only to call a single, newly-assigned FBI agent, Robert Moen, as his sole witness, presumably, to conceal prior evidence presented to the original grand jury, to gain an indictment.
According to Lawson's motion, the law permits disclosure of grand jury material "upon a showing that grounds may exist for a motion to dismiss the indictment because of matter occurring before the grand jury, i.e., if there is any evidence of misconduct." "Given that a second grand jury is considered part of an ongoing investigation, AUSA Kirsch is obligated to provide transcripts and exhibits from the first grand jury to the second one and is not permitted to get a sanitized indictment by excluding that information," Lawson tells A Just Cause. "Additionally, a prosecutor is required to ensure the grand jury has adequate time to review all documents from the original grand jury, and Moen, as a newly-assigned agent, is not permitted to engage in hearsay by describing aspects of the investigation he was not personally involved in," states Banks of A Just Cause. After receiving information from A Just Cause, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has also found probable cause to investigate Kirsch's conduct before the grand jury.
Senator Hatch is investigating allegations of grand jury misconduct by Kirsch, the Colorado U.S. Attorney's Office and the IRS related to illegally obtaining church and parishioner banking records, likely through collusion with the IRS," says Lamont Banks, Executive Director of A Just Cause. "Court records indicate Kirsch was allegedly engaging in a selective prosecution by targeting the Colorado Springs Fellowship Church (CSFC) and its parishioners," adds Stewart. "It is not a coincidence that the IRP6 were all faithful members of the church for decades," says Banks.
In the first grand jury, the lead FBI agent gave testimony and presented exhibits showing that the IRP6 and the church members that worked as contract employees through staffing companies, were engaged in a money laundering scheme where church members and the executives were funneling money received from staffing companies into church coffers.
Court records show that Kirsch ONLY subpoenaed church parishioners to testify before the first grand jury and excluded dozens of other contract employees unaffiliated with the church that worked for IRP Solutions. Kirsch's decision to only subpoena church members and allegedly illegally obtain their specific banking records while excluding dozens of other contract employees unaffiliated with CSFC raises serious questions about Kirsch's motives and the integrity of the grand jury process," says Cliff Stewart of A Just Cause. Parishioners tell AJC they were peppered with questions about the church and their Pastor, Rose Banks, who is also the mother of IRP6 defendant David Banks. A parishioner says she was asked if the church was a cult. "Kirsch's actions suggest he was allegedly illegally using the grand jury as a subterfuge to target the church, but the reason for that is still a mystery," says Stewart. Court records show Kirsch indicted and convicted Lawanna Clark, Pastor Banks' daughter, on a single perjury count, claiming she lied about withdrawing money from the IRP bank account. Kirsch told the jury it was Clark's signature on bank withdrawal slips, but after trial, a reputable handwriting expert concluded the signatures were not Clark's. When Clark presented the findings to AUSA Kirsch, he disregarded the evidence, saying Clark should have brought it up during trial and recommended 18 months in prison. Judge Arguello also disregarded Clark's innocence and sent her to prison for 6 months.
A Just Cause has provided Senator Hatch with key court documents that show Kirsch had received banking records as early as 2003, likely through collusion with the IRS, which was 4 years before the first grand jury proceedings in early 2007. When the first grand jury, who had not issued a subpoena, asked lead FBI agent John Smith how he obtained the banking records, Smith said by subpoena. Parishioners tell A Just Cause that their banks verified that they never received a subpoena from the government. Other information provided to Senator Hatch includes the grand jury foreman stating in open court that Rose Banks, the Pastor of CSFC, was the target of the Kirsch's investigation and there is documented evidence that Agent Smith told staffing companies to contact private attorney Greg Goldberg of the Holland and Hart law firm about the case, not Kirsch. Court documents show that Goldberg, a former federal prosecutor who previously worked with Kirsch in the Colorado U.S. Attorney's Office, HAND-DELIVERED a letter to Kirsch, stating that IRP executives were running bogus businesses and should be prosecuted, also directing Kirsch on what charges they should be indicted on. "It appears to me that Goldberg was allegedly directing the investigation, which is a violation of federal law," says Stewart.
During proceedings, IRP6 attorneys filed motions for the government to allow them to view the grand jury subpoenas which was vigorously opposed by Kirsch, asserting that allowing the defense to view the subpoenas would be a "slippery slope" that would expose the tactics used by the government to acquire banking records. "The issuance of grand jury subpoenas is not some covert or secret process and Kirsch's opposition to the viewing of the subpoena indicates he might be concealing the illegal conduct he used to get the records," says Stewart. Court records show Judge Arguello paid lip service about the grand jury subpoena being an administrative document which should be released to the IRP6 defendants but ultimately denied the request.
Judge Christine M. Arguello, is the subject of a pending judicial complaint (http://bit.ly/2ba9827) which presents irrefutable evidence of Kirsch and Arguello conspiring together with bias to disregard prevailing law and the constitutional rights of the IRP6. The judicial complaint appeal has been pending since August 18, 2016. "Predictably, Judge Arguello doubled-down on her bias against the IRP6 by arbitrarily denying Lawson's request for grand jury materials the same day the motion was submitted, absurdly claiming Lawson had not shown a particularized need for the grand jury records," says Stewart.
"The court documents indicate to me that AUSA Kirsch obtained an indictment against these men by deceptive means and undermined the integrity of the judicial process, which definitely rises to grand jury misconduct," says Lawson. Lawson was the appellate attorney for 5 of the IRP6 defendants.
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