A Just Cause Asks Department of Justice to Investigate if Federal Investigators Followed Proper Procedure in the IRP6 Case When Agents Contacted Philly Officials Regarding IRP Solutions
Denver, Colorado (PRWEB) December 24, 2014
A Just Cause (AJC) is appealing to the U.S. Department of Justice for an inquiry into the IRP6 case questioning if federal prosecutor’s and investigator’s actions resulted in a potential contract being halted between IRP Solutions and the City of Philadelphia. "Our ongoing investigation into facts and circumstances surrounding the federal investigation, prosecution and conviction of the IRP6 raises questions if conduct by law enforcement officials resulted in a wrongly conviction," ponders Sam Thurman, A Just Cause.
The IRP6 were convicted in October 2011 of mail and wire fraud charges in the United States District Court in Colorado (Case No. 09-CR-00266-CMA) and their appeals were affirmed by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on August 4, 2014 (Case Nos. 11-1487/1488/1489/1490/1491/1492). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Kirsch and presided over by Judge Christine M. Arguello. The government claimed in the indictment that the IRP6 duped staffing companies into doing business with them by making "false representations" about "current or impending contracts with large government agencies, including the United States Department of Homeland Security." (Case No. 09-CR-00266-CMA).
“The government argued that IRP made ‘false representations,' yet AJC’s investigation of court records show that federal agents and prosecutors were aware that IRP Solutions was engaged in legitimate business activities in Philadelphia," says Thurman. “AJC’s review of court records show that all of the evidence was not presented at grand jury or during the trial court and had the federal prosecutor presented all evidence to the grand jury and to the court, it is very likely that there would not have been a case," argues Thurman. “The transcript from the trial shows that we were not allowed to present certain evidence like our activity with the City of Philadelphia," says David Banks, Chief Operating Officer, IRP Solutions (IRP6). (Case No. 09-CR-00266-CMA).
“Our latest review of court documents in the IRP case show that four months prior to taking the case before a second grand jury, federal prosecutors were aware that the Philadelphia Police Department and Philadelphia Inspector General's Office had agreed to terms with the IRP Solutions Corporation for the purchase and installation of their Case Investigative Life Cycle (CILC) software solution," says Thurman. “Federal prosecutors failed to present this to the second grand jury and they argued against the trial jury hearing this vital information during trail," says Thurman. (Case No. 09-CR-00266-CMA).
The AJC investigation of court documents show that in interview with the FBI, Gerry Cardenas, Director of Information Technology for the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD), acknowledged that IRP Solutions' Case Investigative Life Cycle software solution "look exactly like what Cardenas and the PPD was looking to purchase." Records show that Computer Chief/Security CIO Michael King was tasked with writing technical and system requirements so that the city could be prepared to install the software that IRP would provide. Court records confirm that IRP was close to installing software for PPD, but that all activity stopped when Cardenas was “made aware of the IRP investigation." (Discovery documents - Case No. 09-CR-00266-CMA).
"Why would AUSA Kirsch pursue an indictment where he claims the IRP6 lied about ‘current or impending contracts’ when he had irrefutable evidence that the City of Philadelphia had agreed to procure IRP Solutions software," questions Cliff Stewart, A Just Cause. “It is this type of activity that AJC believes warrants an investigation into the conduct of the federal agents and prosecutors involved in this case," adds Stewart.
As part of the argument for a federal inquiry, A Just Cause shows that court records show that David Banks, Chief Operating Officer of IRP Solutions, sent a letter of Philadelphia Deputy Mayor of Justice and Public Safety, Everett Gillison offering PPD IRP's search warrant module at no cost, include digitizing their search warrant documents. "Our sales efforts with the NYPD and Department of Homeland Security were scuttled from the criminal investigation and we decided that we would offer some modules free of charge and generate revenue from support and maintenance and additional customizations so we could pay our debts," says Banks. "After Deputy Mayor Gillison and I had a discussion over the phone, I booked a flight for Philadelphia to meet him in person," adds Banks. "After demonstrating our search warrant module to the Deputy Mayor, he immediately contacted Mr. Cardenas to view the software." (Discovery documents - Case No. 09-CR-00266-CMA)
"Court documents show an email exchange between Banks and Gillison that substantiates Banks' claims," argues Thurman. “The communication between Banks and Gillison show that IRP Solutions was moving forward with fulfilling their obligation the City of Philadelphia and that Philadelphia was poised to execute on the IRP proposal," says Thurman.
"According to Deputy Mayor Gillison, IBM and Motorola had a contract to modernize the department's enforcement systems but they were facing significant challenges, including search warrants," says Banks. "Gillison provided me with copy of their search warrant document and we incorporated it into CILC within two weeks and was ready for installation," adds Banks.
“In the FBI interview, Cardenas is reported as saying, ‘Deputy Mayor Gillison saw IRP's search warrant software as a critical need to solve a major problem for PPD where IBM had failed to deliver according to a contract they were awarded,'" says Stewart. “A grand jury and a trial jury should have been allowed to hear this evidence; that’s why we are now seeking an inquiry at the next level," adds Stewart.
According to a November 13, 2012 article by Juliana Reyes in the Philadelphia-based publication Technical.ly Philly regarding the state of police information technology, PPD was reeling from a corruption scandal and was being closely monitored by a federal judge to ensure they digitized their systems to increase transparency in compliance with a legal settlement (http://technical.ly/philly/2012/11/13/philadelphia-police-typewriters-technology/). Reyes reported that PPD was under tremendous pressure to automate their investigative reports, including search warrants. IBM had won a $4.7 million dollar, 30-month contract to computerize the department's records but the project encountered significant challenges, including a project that lagged on for 10 years with a $2.4 million dollar budget overrun and a search warrant solution that wasn't delivered. "When I contacted Deputy Mayor Gillison I was unaware of their critical need for a search warrant solution and judicial oversight but was very excited about the opportunity," says Banks. "I believe that IRP Solutions was in an excellent position with the City of Philadelphia, but I have serious questions about what the FBI and the AUSA Kirsch did when they contacted city officials”, ponders Banks. “A great sales opportunity went away and we feel that the actions of the federal agents and prosecutor hurt our reputation," adds Banks. “Court records show that there is reason to question if federal agents and prosecutors violated rules, and we are thankful that A Just Cause is pushing this case to the next level," exclaims Banks.
Court documents show that IRP Solutions made a similar offer for the CILC case management solution to the Philadelphia Inspector General's Office that was accepted by IG Amy Kurland. Court records confirm that Kurland made arrangements for Banks and Walker to meet with Mayor Nutter where he would 'thank' IRP Solutions for what it was doing for the City of Philadelphia. Court records further confirm that Lorelei Larson, Chief Investigator for IG's office, states to Banks in an email, "All the OIG staff is very excited about this venture” (Discovery documents - Case No. 09-CR-00266-CMA). Records show that business halted after IRP Solutions was contacted by the office of the IG. "Ms. Kurland's secretary contacted me and informed me that Ms. Kurland had been told by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirsch over the phone that 'an indictment was coming' and she regrettably had to cancel our software project," says Banks. "Statements made to like 'an indictment is coming' are inappropriate especially when there was no grand jury impaneled at the time," says Thurman. "That type of activity is one of the issues AJC wants an independent panel to review," adds Thurman.
According to the American Bar Associations Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3.8, Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor, “The prosecutor in a criminal case shall: "Refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause," says Thurman. "Court records show that AUSA Kirsch empanelled a second grand jury after an initial grand jury did not return an indictment against the IRP6. Is it ethically and morally wrong for a prosecutor to pursue a second indictment and prosecution when, like in the case of IRP with Philly, there is evidence that the business was legitimate," adds Thurman. "It gives credibility not only to the excellence of the CILC software but to the argument that other IRP sales efforts with the Department of Homeland Security, NYPD and other agencies were also destroyed by the actions of the FBI and U.S. Attorneys Office," concludes Thurman. “This makes A Just Cause hopeful that folks at the federal level will take a hard look at the IRP6 case and see that there are grounds for an independent inquiry,” says Thurman.
A Just Cause (AJC) continues its advocacy and review of court records for the six Colorado information technology executives known as the "IRP6" (David A. Banks, Kendrick Barnes, David A. Zirpolo, Gary L. Walker, Clinton A. Stewart and Demetrius K. Harper).
For additional information on IRP Solutions and the City of Philadelphia, go to http://www.freetheirp6.org
For blog posts by David Banks (IRP6) go to http://www.freetheirp6.org/#!stand-up-blog/ci23/Page/3/