A Just Cause

Obama & Jeh Johnson Can Still Save DHS from Outdated Technology Crisis

DHS Case Management Modernization Rests With Maligned Colorado Technology Executives


Denver, CO -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/16/2016 --According to an April 1, 2016 nextgov.com article, President Obama's Chief Information Officer Tony Scott has called the government's reliance on outdated technology a "crisis" that rivals Y2k/Year-2000 computer glitch. The congressional 9/11 commission found that the FBI's antiquated case management system and processes contributed to information sharing failures that led to the 9/11 attacks (http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/index.htm). It is no secret, especially in DC that both the Department of Homeland Security and FBI have yet to modernize their case management systems that are used by tens of thousands of federal agents to conduct criminal and terrorism investigations. Since 9/11 two large defense contractors, SAIC & Lockheed Martin, have wasted over a billion dollars of taxpayer money on failed case management projects. SAIC's $458 million Virtual Case File (VCF) was declared "unfit for use" in 2004 and according to FBI Chief Technology Officer Jack Israel's interview with Fierce Government IT in 2012, Lockheed Martin's $800 million-dollar Sentinel project's "demise" occurred when trying to "build an independent electronic case management system."

"After the failure of VCF in 2004, DHS was seriously pursuing the CILC (pronounced "silk") case management software developed by the minority-owned IRP Solutions Corporation in Colorado for the joint DOJ/DHS Federal Investigative Case Management System (FICMS) initiative," says Cliff Stewart of A Just Cause. "But misconduct by a Colorado federal prosecutor hindered CILC from being sold and weakened DHS's ability to modernize their technology to fight crime and terrorism," adds Stewart.

On February 12, 2005, the Gazette Telegraph newspaper in Colorado Springs reported that the FBI raided IRP, alleging that the executives were untruthful when they told staffing companies that temporary labor was needed to develop software that "would be sold" to the Department of Homeland Security and New York City Police Department. Court records show that IRP, for about a year and a half, was heavily involved in selling CILC to both DHS and NYPD and two months prior to the raid, DHS not only requested and received a quote for 2 CILC modules that exceeded $100 million dollars. DHS official Paul Tran testified in court that in the fall of 2003, DHS pursued a $12 million dollar pilot project with IRP. Former federal appeals judge H. Lee Sarokin, who exhaustively reviewed the case, including the trial records, says the government's contention that IRP and CILC was a scam "defies reality" and that the executives were indicted and convicted for "failing to pay corporate debts." "The raid made it impossible for them to fulfill their debts," says Sarokin.

"The goal of FICMS was to identify a single commercial-off-the-shelf case management system that would be used to modernize case management across all federal law enforcement agencies, including the 22 under DHS's umbrella," says David Banks, Chief Operating Officer of IRP Solutions. CILC is the only viable solution that could achieve this then and now and is far more advanced and innovative than any case management system used in federal law enforcement today," adds Banks. "CILC is a secure case management solution developed on the Java/J2EE platform, database agnostic and differentiates itself by being the only case management solution that can be rapidly adapted to any agency's investigative operations, forms and processes and account for all the contributors involved in the life cycle of a criminal investigation, including federal prosecutors," adds Banks. "We proved these capabilities to DHS, NYPD and to the City of Philadelphia in 2009, but government interference kept destroying business opportunities and our ability to pay our debts," says Banks.

Emails from court records show that in January 2009 Banks was finalizing terms to deliver CILC to both the Philadelphia's Police Department and Inspector General's Office as well as pursuing a sale with the First Judicial District Court. "With CILC's adaptable framework it took us only two weeks to computerize Philly's core search warrant process, workflow and forms into CILC, including functionality for electronic distribution to the courts with digital signatures," says Banks. (See emails between Banks and Philly officials at http://bit.ly/2xOfbEJ). "Unfortunately, just prior to implementing CILC, I was told by Inspector General Amy Kurland's secretary that Kurland had received a call from Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Kirsch who told her that an indictment was coming against our company, and regrettably the City of Philadelphia would have to terminate business with us," adds Banks. The indictment alleged that IRP was a "purported" software company whose executives "induced" staffing companies into doing business with them by stating they had "current or impending" contracts with DHS and NYPD. "We were devastated that Kirsch would intentionally destroy our business with Philly by not only saying an indictment was coming five months prior to presenting anything to a grand jury but allege we never intended to pay staffing companies after ruining our ability to generate revenue to pay debts," laments Banks.

For "failing to pay corporate debts...these business men...all members of the same church, several of them veterans, with no criminal records, were charged, convicted and are serving sentences of seven to eleven years in prison, even though they had every intention to make their business a success and pay their debts," exclaims Sarokin. "The raid made it impossible for them to fulfill their debts," asserts Sarokin. See Washington Post article about IRP and Sarokin at (http://wapo.st/29jXqSC).

Former Senate and House Judiciary Committee attorney Ron Legrand told AJC Radio he was "really disappointed" at how the IRP6 case was handled and that "if there was a case...it was a civil case and should have been handled as such." After conducting a six month investigation and interviewing over 100 witnesses, Dr. Alan Bean, Executive Director of the Friends of Justice issued a report, stating: "The IRP6 case departs from the typical failed-scam scenario for the simplest of reasons: the government's case can't stand up to scrutiny. The fraud alleged in the indictment is a mirage."

The IRP executives who are known on the Internet as the IRP6, have been maligned by a wrongful conviction and imprisonment that continues to persist for over 4 years in spite of overwhelming evidence of their innocence and prosecutorial malfeasance. In November 2015, Judge Sarokin sent a letter to President Obama asking him to grant IRP6's clemency petition. U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL) have also sent letters to President Obama concerning the clemency petition. "AJC implores President Obama, for the cause of justice, for the benefit of DHS and our national security, to immediately pardon these men and end the suffering of their families," concludes Stewart.