Former Federal Judge Amazed By Prosecutor's Use Of False Theory To Convict Execs, Says Advocacy Group A Just Cause
Denver, CO -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/06/2016 --On July 5, 2016, the Washington Post released an online article about a former federal appeals judge's continuing efforts to help free six imprisoned Colorado tech execs known as the IRP6 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2016/07/05/judge-who-freed-hurricane-carter-now-helping-six-imprisoned-men-but-only-obama-can-save-them). The article will be released in the actual paper on July 6th.
According to the Washington Post, "prosecutors argued their software company [IRP Solutions Corporation], which built up $5 million in debt, was simply a scam." However, former federal appeals judge H. Lee Sarokin, who immersed himself into the facts of the case, told the Washington Post that "All of the proof in the case goes the opposite way."
The theory of Assistant United States Attorney Matthew T. Kirsch, was that the technology executives, David A. Banks, Kendrick Barnes, Demetrius K. Harper, Gary L. Walker, David A. Zirpolo and Clinton A. Stewart, committed mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy by hiring 42 different staffing companies and failed to pay them $5,000,000. Prior to speaking with the Washington Post, former federal appeals judge, H. Lee Sarokin, said Kirsch falsified facts about the software to the jury to gain a conviction. "Although the primary charge was that the defendants had misrepresented their success and prospects to certain staffing companies, the case was presented to the jury on the basis that the software program developed by the defendants was a phony and a scam," Sarokin wrote in the Huffington Post. "The defendants were prosecuted for "failing to pay corporate debts," contends Sarokin.
The Washington Post reports that, "in August 2005, the FBI sent a letter saying there would not be a criminal prosecution and that the unpaid debts were a civil matter. Still, the U.S. Attorney's office in Denver stuck with the case and presented it to a grand jury in March 2007," Court documents also show that the 2007 grand jury refused to indict based on failing to pay corporate debts. As a grand juror pointed out: "...if I don't pay somebody for the work they've done, that's not a federal crime."
"Trial jurors would likely have not accepted Kirsch's theory had he not told lies that IRP was peddling phony software and existed solely to defraud staffing companies," says Cliff Stewart of A Just Cause. "As you dig deeper into in court records, there is no doubt that Kirsch and his boss, U.S. Attorney John Walsh, were clearly aware of the mountains of evidence that pointed to the civil nature of the IRP6 case, but for some strange reason they chose to criminalize the debt of IRP," adds Stewart.
"Court records clearly show that the alleged $5,000,000 in debt, which is padded with interest and late fees, was actually hourly wages paid by staffing companies to their own employees for work performed at IRP Solutions," adds Stewart. "The IRP executives had no idea that while the staffing company employees were working hard making modifications to their software at the request of the Department of Homeland Security and New York City Police Department, their ability to close sales was being undermined by the FBI interviewing key officials at those agencies as part of an IRP criminal investigation," explains Stewart.
Kirsch claimed in the indictment that staffing companies were duped into doing business with IRP because the executives made false statements about having a "current or impending" contract with DHS or NYPD. However, evidence in court records belies Kirsch's claims and shows that staffing companies conducted customary credit due-diligence, including pulling Dun & Bradstreet credit reports, bank reference checks and had the executives sign personal guarantees. "The government's theory that senior staffing executives were so enamored by verbal statements about contracts that they discounted their own credit due-diligence defies reality and common sense," says Stewart.
Sarokin, who retired in 1996, now writes plays and wrote a play called "The Race Card Face Up" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y94O5mMJqHU) to bring attention to the IRP6 and support a petition for clemency to President Obama. Sarokin said the prosecution was based on "an appeal to racism rather than reason" because five of the six executives were black and the sentences were so harsh. The Washington Post provides a preview of the video.
For more information, contact Lamont Banks at A Just Cause at 855-529-4252 Ext 710 or go to http://www.a-justcause.com. The change.org petition webpage is at https://t.co/jab5TqU00s