A Just Cause

Concealment of Public Court Records Related to Judge's Personal Religious Bias Vacated by 10th Circuit


Denver, CO -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/01/2019 --On January 23, 2019, based on a legal brief filed by the Colorado Springs Fellowship Church (online at http://bit.ly/2Ntk3U9), three judges from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (Briscoe, Murphy & McHugh) confirmed in a unanimous opinion (case no. 18-1273, doc. # 010110115512) that Judge Christine M. Arguello abused her discretion when she deprived the public access to court records where it is alleged in a judicial complaint she displayed religious animus, made hostile and slanderous comments about Pastor Rose Banks of the Colorado Springs Fellowship Church (CSFC), and used her court to conduct a religious inquisition into Pastor Banks' Christianity and CSFC. This is the second judicial complaint in the Colorado federal criminal case that is widely known on the Internet as the "IRP6" case where violations of the Constitution and alleged prosecutorial and judicial misconduct have been confirmed by a former federal appeals judge. Based on a dossier compiled and published online by justice advocacy organization A Just Cause, members of Congress are now seeking answers about the government's actions against Pastor Banks (who was not and never has been a criminal defendant) and questioning why the men in the case from her church (one of whom is Pastor Banks' son) remain imprisoned when former federal appeals judge H. Lee Sarokin told the Washington Post the facts and evidence in the case show the software executives of the IRP Solutions Corporation are innocent, had their constitutional rights violated and were "indicted and imprisoned for not paying their bills."

"For some strange reason, the Colorado U.S. Attorney's Office and Judge Arguello were allegedly secretly targeting Pastor Banks and CSFC from the very beginning," says Lamont Banks, Executive Director of A Just Cause and son of Pastor Banks. "And they used IRP Solutions where her son David was the chief operating officer as a subterfuge to bring down my mother and the church," adds Lamont Banks. "The IRP executives were collateral damage and a consolation prize for the government," contends Lamont Banks. Court records substantiate A Just Cause's claims.

Transcripts from the 2007 grand jury (No. 06-01) shows the government only selected CSFC members (including Pastor Banks' daughter) who worked at IRP to testify before the grand jury when dozens of other employees unaffiliated with the church were not called. Church members say they were peppered with questions about Pastor Banks and asked whether the church was a cult. Court records show that when Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Kirsch asked grand jury foreman Cynthia Haid who was the target of the criminal investigation, the first words Haid uttered were Rose Banks (View court transcript online at http://bit.ly/2flpma2)."

According to court records the government allegedly illegally seized church and parishioner banking records without a warrant and wrongly-imprisoned Pastor Banks' daughter (Lawanna Clark) for six months after post-trial evidence surfaced showing she was innocent of making a single false statement to the grand jury after being asked 285 questions by the prosecutor.

Court records shows Kirsch was unrepentant about unlawfully seizing church records, stating in open court that "even if the records were improperly obtained, how would it be relevant in this case." Kirsch was also hell-bent on imprisoning the innocent Clark, requesting she be locked up for 18 months. Clark never fully recovered from the stress of being wrongly-imprisoned and the wrongful imprisonment of her innocent brother the other IRP executives who were decades-long close friends of hers from church. Clark died of a massive stroke on November 14, 2018.

"Wanna called me on the phone when she didn't know she was having a stroke and said "Mama! Mama! My head! Something's wrong with my head! Please pray for me," says Rose Banks. "We prayed intensely together, and I told her to put a cold cloth on her head and call me back," adds Rose. "When she didn't call me back a short time later, I sent a close friend of hers from the church to the house, after which she was taken to the hospital and later died," laments Rose Banks. "Wanna's only other complaint about intense head pain was after the unnecessary stress she experienced at the grand jury," recalls Rose Banks. "Kirsch and Judge Arguello's violent abuse of the law wrongly-imprisoned my son David and the men he worked with at IRP and greatly contributed to my precious daughter's untimely death," laments Rose Banks. "I pray every day that God will put it on the hearts of someone in our government to hold these officials accountable and give us justice for the horrible wrong done to us," says Rose Banks.

After failing to allegedly implicate Pastor Banks in a money laundering scheme with the 2007 grand jury, AUSA Kirsch then attempted to gain an indictment by criminalizing the IRP executives for failing to pay their corporate debts. But the 2007 grand jury rejected Kirsch with one grand juror pointing out: "But if I don't pay somebody for the work they've done, that's not a federal crime." Court records show that in 2009, Kirsch went to another grand jury (no. 09-01) where he only called a single FBI agent (Robert Moen) to testify and did not present any evidence/testimony from the first grand jury.

"The 2009 grand jury unknowingly gave Kirsch and his boss (U.S. Attorney John Walsh) an ill-gotten indictment," says Cliff Stewart of A Just Cause. "What followed was an unfair trial poisoned by alleged prosecutorial and judicial misconduct where Judge Arguello and AUSA Kirsch imprisoned the IRP6 for 7 to 11 years while continuing their persecution of Pastor Banks and CSFC in post-conviction proceedings," adds Stewart. "AJC will not relent until we get justice for these men and their families who continue to suffer immense pain from the loss of their loved ones to prison and the death of their beloved Lawanna Clark," concludes Stewart.

Based on the comprehensive dossier compiled by A Just Cause (which is online at http://bit.ly/2wBaCyJ), four Democrats from Congress sent a letter to the DOJ seeking answers about the alleged prosecutorial and judicial misconduct (viewed online at http://bit.ly/2HuvgTc). The dossier includes both judicial complaints filed against Judge Arguello, the Washington Post interview with Judge Sarokin, and a report published by Dr. Alan Bean, Executive Director of the Friends of Justice who conducted a six-month investigation into the IRP6 case that included interviews with the IRP6 and CSFC members and dozens of court records.

For more information or to schedule interviews with parties in the IRP6 case, contact A Just Cause.