Grand Jury Witnesses Discuss Prosecutor's Secret Attack on Their Church

Colorado Federal Prosecutor Secretly Targeted Church in White Collar Case, Says A Just Cause.

According to IRP Solutions COO David Banks, “Our business debt was strictly a civil matter turned criminal by AUSA Kirsch for some nefarious reason. We hired approximately 40 temporary contract employees through staffing companies, half of whom were from our church," adds Banks.

Colorado federal prosecutor Matthew T. Kirsch indicted Banks and five other IRP executives on allegations that staffing companies were duped into doing business with IRP by alleged statements of large "current or impending" contracts with law enforcement agencies made by IRP executives.  The indictment states that the alleged statements, "caused the staffing companies to issue [paychecks]" to their employees from the time cards they submitted, which in turn caused an invoice to be sent through the mail which violates mail and wire fraud statutes. But court records show when it was time to call contract employees before the grand jury, Kirsch only selected church members. The Colorado U.S. Attorney's Office denied the church was the target of this or any investigation.

On June 10, 2010 U.S. Attorney spokesperson Jeff Dorschner told Colorado Springs' KRDO-TV news that the church was not a target of the investigation, however, church members who testified before the grand jury say that was definitely not the case. "The prosecutor asked me if I ever deposited my paycheck into the church bank account and if the church or my Pastor Rose Banks had any connection to IRP," says long-time parishioner Sharon Parks.  "I told him I didn't know of any connection and sternly asked him why he was bringing my pastor into this and that I would not be discussing my church or my pastor," says Parks.

Amos Clark, the son-in-law of Rose Banks was also subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury.  "I was asked if Pastor Banks was involved in IRP and whether IRP executives David Banks and Gary Walker attended church with me," says Clark.  "I was also given a list with other church member's names who worked at IRP on it and asked if they attended the church," adds Clark.

David Zirpolo, the only non-African American executive of IRP Solutions, is serving time in federal prison on Kirsch's wrongful-conviction speaks about his testimony before the grand jury.  According to Zirpolo the government was interested in why Pastor Banks, the mother of Chief Operating Officer David Banks, met with the executives on some Saturdays at the business.  "I told the prosecutor that Pastor Banks counseled us on always doing the right thing in business and our personal lives. I also remember in 2006 after we shut our offices from the FBI raid, we still held Saturday meetings, occasionally at Pastor Banks' house where she pulled me aside personally to counsel me on the devastating loss of my mother,” says Zirpolo. "I recall a grand juror asking if my pastor was not involved in the church or indirectly tied through her son would I be as willing to go into debt to keep the company afloat. I said absolutely, and that my financial support had nothing to do with my pastor or church," exclaims Zirpolo.

According to court documents (Dist. of Co. case 09-cr-00151-CMA), when grand jury foreperson Cynthia Haid, was asked by AUSA Kirsch who was the target of the investigation, she responded "Rose Banks." Additionally, among discovery documents in case 09-cr-00266-CMA, 9000 of the 18000 pages of discovery were church and parishioner banking records, including Pastor Banks'. "Church members are upset because their banks told them they had not received a search warrant for their records," says Stewart.  "Even if the records were improperly obtained" it's not relevant to the case against the IRP defendants, Kirsch said in court. "Certainly, claims by the U.S. Attorney's Office that the church and Pastor Banks was not a target of the investigation was an outright lie," says Stewart.

Former Federal Appellate Judge H. Lee Sarokin said in the Huffington Post that the IRP Solution executives were indicted and prosecuted for "failing to pay corporate debts" associated with staffing companies. "Kirsch obviously criminalized IRP debt as a subterfuge to illegally investigate the church," adds Banks, Executive Director of A Just Cause. "When he could find no wrong-doing by the church or Pastor Banks, he vindictively prosecuted her son, her daughter Lawanna Clark, and five other IRP executives," concludes Lisa Stewart, an Executive of A Just Cause.

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Source: A Just Cause

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