Colorado Federal Judge Accused of Slandering Colorado Springs Pastor, Church and Religion from the Bench, Says Advocacy Group A Just Cause
Outrage Ensues from Government & federal Judge Christine M. Arguello's Public Attacks on Pastor Rose Banks of the Colorado Springs Fellowship Church
Developments on the Case of the IRP5
The raw, unedited truth of the latest, unbelievable developments in this case...
In 2014, after 9 years of forcefully proclaiming that he and his five codefendants (David A. Banks, Demetrius K. Harper, Clinton A. Stewart, Kendrick Barnes and David A. Zirpolo) were wrongly convicted and imprisoned, Gary L. Walker, former President of the IRP Solutions Corporation turned inmate, suddenly had a self-serving epiphany that he and his codefendants, who are known as the IRP6, were now guilty. In 2012, Walker was sentenced to 11 years in prison by Denver federal judge Christine M. Arguello for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud (Dist. Colo. case no. 09-cr-00266-CMA).
Now, after spending 5 years in prison, Walker waltz's back into court with "the devil made me do it" defense, claiming that the "devil" in his case was his pastor, Rose M. Banks of the Colorado Springs Fellowship Church (CSFC). It's worth noting that Pastor Banks is Walker's mother-in-law by virtue of being married to her oldest daughter, Yolanda.
Judge Arguello didn't respect the separation of church and state and permitted Walker and a few disgruntled church members, most of whom left the church many years ago and are completely unaffiliated with the case or IRP, to use her courtroom as a slander forum against Pastor Banks to support Walker's "the pastor made me do it" defense. Arguello, in a secret, sealed proceedings, joined the fray, viciously attacking Pastor Banks' Christianity and character from the bench, slandering her name and her church, then cut Walker' sentence in half. "Judge Arguello's actions are both bizarre and unprecedented," says Lamont Banks, Executive Director of A Just Cause. "How can Walker, as the CEO who was sentenced to 11 years in prison based on enhancements of being an alleged leader/organizer of a conspiracy, dozens of victims and $5 million in losses, after a few years in prison present Judge Arguello with what amounts to a post-conviction insanity plea based on his mind being under control of Pastor Banks and get his sentence cut in half? Questions Lamont Banks, Executive Director of A Just Cause. "AJC is investigating the legality of this as it relates to the other defendants," adds Banks.
In both the famous D.C. Sniper and Boston Marathon bombing cases, 16-year-old Lee Boyd Malvo and the younger 19-year-old Tsarnaev brother were unsuccessful in mounting defenses during trial that they were under the influence of older family members in commission of their crimes. But the government and Judge Arguello immediately released on his absurd claim that he was under the influence of Pastor Banks during the alleged commission of his crime and in deciding to fire his attorney. AJC thinks Walker should be free because there is overwhelming evidence of his innocence, not for a sudden feigning of guilt based on a "my pastor made me do it" lies after spending five years in prison, especially since his claim is totally refuted by court records and public videos which are discussed below. "AJC is investigating the legality of this slanderous post-conviction proceeding as it relates to the other IRP6 defendants," adds Stewart.
In a 2015 opinion (case no. 14-4121), 10th Circuit judges Timothy Tymkovich, Bobby Baldock and Harris Hartz concluded that a defendant can't claim religious and family pressures as justification that his guilty plea was involuntary. "[A] defendant's religious beliefs regarding the merits of confessing one's wrongdoing and his desire to [appease] his family or give in to their desires are self-imposed coercive elements and do not [destroy the legal validity of] the voluntary nature of the defendant's guilty plea," said the panel.
Walker's scheme to get out of prison started with him peddling the fiction that 72-year-old Pastor Banks, who has been nothing but a full-time Pastor for nearly 40 years, was running the IRP Solutions Corporation and making all decisions based on directions from God. Walker says he was just a CEO front-man appointed by Pastor Banks and all he did was help develop software, while Pastor Banks' son, the Chief Operating Officer, made all the strategic business decisions and his wife Yolanda was the bookkeeper who controlled all the bank accounts. "It stands to reason that if Pastor Banks was really appointing positions in the company as Walker claims, wouldn't she have appointed her son as CEO?" ponders Stewart.
Walker's ridiculous claim that he was a paper CEO is belied in numerous online videos including a video of the grand opening of IRP Solutions where Walker is speaking proudly as the President & CEO of IRP Solutions with COO David Banks. Law enforcement professionals, Colorado Springs corporate leaders and congressional staff were in attendance (https://vimeo.com/11935525). Three more online videos show Walker and the other executives discussing IRP, their software, business activities and defending their innocence against the charges of the government. See videos at
(http://bit.ly/2sdCTVA), (http://bit.ly/2ubWLKc) and (http://bit.ly/2szeGIH). Additional proof that Walker is lying is that prior to going to trial he wasn't working as a simple software programmer, but took a job as an executive director for the multi-billion-dollar healthcare company, Kaiser Permanente.
Walker continued blaming Pastor Banks for decisions he made, including that he was under the control, influence and direction of Pastor Banks to fire his attorney and represent himself. "When each of us made our individual decision to represent ourselves, Pastor Banks told us because we were innocent she didn't believe God would let us go to prison and encouraged us to pray for God's help in the courtroom," says IRP6 defendant Demetrius Harper. Walker then lied that Pastor Banks prohibited the IRP6 from calling church witnesses. "Both Judge Arguello and Kirsch know that Walker perjured himself because numerous church members testified at our trial, including Cliff Stewart, Joe Thurman and William Williams," adds Harper. "If Pastor Banks is controlling everyone in the church as Walker contends then how did these church members break free from her control to testify at our trial for Walker to personally question them on the stand?" asks Harper. Walker also turned his lies towards his codefendants.
"I had no idea that David Banks, Demetrius Harper or anyone else might be making statements regarding the company having revenue from law enforcement agencies, said Walker. "I was surprised they were able to persuade company after company to take on our staffing needs...I assumed the staffing companies were convinced that our CILC (software) product would soon be successful in the marketplace," added Walker. "We regularly talked about repaying the debt as soon as we generated sales, which we believed would come any day," said Walker.
"As you can see, Walker admits that we were expecting to pay our debts and were anticipating closing a sale any day, which proves he was lying when he claimed he was unaware about IRP staffing activities," says David Banks (IRP6). "Furthermore, the government's own witness’s testimony at trial proved that the indictment was a fraud," adds Banks (IRP6).
The government alleged that when the IRP Solutions Corporation failed to pay their bills to numerous staffing companies, that the IRP executives had committed a crime. In the face of overwhelming exculpatory evidence, the government manufactured a wild theory that the six IRP Solutions executives (IRP6) made false statements about having a large current or impending contract with the Department of Homeland Security & NYPD that made staffing company representatives so excited, they lost their minds, forgot credit checks and blindly paid their own employees for temporary labor they performed at IRP. Given the absurdity of the indictment, it’s no surprise that testimony by sixteen government witnesses from the staffing industry didn't support the government's theory (See There had to be another motivation for Assistant United States Attorney Matthew T. Kirsch to criminalize corporate debt. It was to persecute Pastor Banks.
The government's secret pursuit of Pastor Banks was exposed during in a January 2007 grand jury proceeding (Grand Jury no. 06-01) where Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Kirsch only subpoenaed CSFC parishioners who worked at IRP Solutions, although dozens of others unaffiliated with the church worked at IRP through staffing companies. When the parishioners arrived at the grand jury, they were peppered with questions about Pastor Banks. "Kirsch abused the grand jury process in the IRP6 case to secretly investigate Pastor Banks," says Cliff Stewart of A Just Cause. "Now, Judge Arguello and Kirsch are using Walker's post-conviction proceeding as a subterfuge to permit Walker and a few disgruntled former church members to use her courtroom to slander Pastor Banks and CSFC in sealed proceedings," contends Stewart. "Judge Arguello used her bench to viciously slander Pastor Banks, attack her Christianity and religious beliefs and accused her of exercising tyrannical control, not only over the mind of Walker, but her daughter Yolanda, her grandson Kyle and all members of the church," adds Stewart.
While sitting on the bench Judge Arguello told Walker that he had "escaped" the pervasive influence of Pastor Banks on all aspects of his life and that Walker had lost his wife, his son, his tight social group, including the comradery of his co-defendants and the other parishioners because Pastor Rose forbid them to have contact with him. "Pastor Banks didn't forbid us to contact Gary," says Kendrick Barnes (IRP6). "We didn't want to hang out with a coward of a man like Gary who lies and blames his Pastor, wife and us for the decisions he made," adds Barnes. "Furthermore, the bible, specifically Second Thessalonians 3:6, commands us to withdraw ourselves from every brother that walks disorderly," says Barnes. Yolanda Walker, the wife of Gary Walker is incensed by Judge Arguello’s statements and pulls no punches.
"Who does this old corrupt, arrogant witch thinks she is?" says Yolanda Walker about Judge Arguello. "The nerve of her to think she knows anything about me, my 30-year marriage to Gary, my Mother, my decision to separate from Gary, my son's decision not to visit his Father, our church or how we live our Christian lives," says Yolanda Walker. "Judge Arguello showed nasty narcissism and just how plain stupid and inept she is as a judge to think she could effectively evaluate me and my son's decisions in a few hearings on marital issues spanning 30 years," adds Yolanda Walker. Walker's 24-year-old son Kyle, said his Father's lies were so disturbing and hurt him so bad it made him want to punch him in the face.
Judge Arguello used letters Pastor Banks wrote to Gary telling him he was a traitor, claiming that Walker was excommunicated from the church, and claimed that there was evidence showing demonstrating the coercion that Pastor Banks put Walker and others (disgruntled former church members) through. "Now the court finds it hard to fathom how someone who holds herself out as a prophet of God and as a Christian could be as vindictive and mean spirited as Pastor Banks, but it was clear that she was doing all she could to retain her hold on you," Arguello told Walker. "She excommunicated you from the only community that you had known for the past 30 years and she unconditionally alienated you from your wife and son," said Arguello. Judge Arguello went on to vilify Pastor Rose because she told Walker and his Father that if they didn't stop lying and doing wrong God would let cancer and a muscle disease they suffer with destroy their lives.
Judge Arguello’s ignorance of Christianity is astounding and she should not be personally commenting on a Pastor's religious beliefs from the bench. Pastor Banks’ comments about Walker's lying being punished by God is well-documented in the bible. In the King James bible, the book of Acts, Chapter 5, a husband and wife were immediately killed by God (not men) in the church for lying. In the Book of Numbers, Chapter 12, God punished Miriam with the bacterial disease of leprosy for speaking against his leader Moses. And in Numbers chapter 16, Moses prophesied destruction and the earth opened up and swallowed up multiple families. In the book of Exodus, Moses told Pharaoh that God was going to kill all the first-born in Egypt. And in Second Kings chapter 2 verses 23-24, God sent two bears to kill 42 children after the prophet Elisha cursed them in the name of the Lord for mocking and teasing him.
"In CSFC, God's love and punishment are taught by Pastor Banks and for Judge Arguello to use her bench to demonize church teachings and viciously slander Pastor Banks, who has a stellar reputation in the community is outrageous misconduct," says Cliff Stewart, A Just Cause. "Furthermore, why didn't Judge Arguello or Kirsch check the veracity of Walker's dubious, self-serving accusations by asking for affidavits or testimony from Pastor Banks, Yolanda Walker, current members of the church or the other IRP6 defendants?" questions Stewart.
It sets a dangerous precedent that a Judge and prosecutor shorten the sentence of a single person convicted in a conspiracy based on a post-conviction insanity plea of being under the control of a Pastor and uses a criminal proceeding to attack a religion, church and Pastor. A Just Cause will bring this matter to the attention of Congress and consider filing a judicial complaint against Judge Arguello and lawsuit against the government.
Maligned Denver Federal Judge Shortens IRP6 Defendant's Sentence Based on Fantastic Lies
IRP6 Defendant Gary Walker Feigns Guilt Based by Promoting He Was Under the Spell of His Mother-in-Law Pastor and Wife
The IRP6 case concerns six information technology executives of the IRP Solutions Corporation (David A. Banks, Kendrick Barnes, David A. Zirpolo, Clinton A. Stewart, Demetrius K. Harper and Gary L. Walker) who were wrongly-convicted of conspiracy and mail and wire fraud charges and have spent nearly 5 years in prison. The government absurdly claimed the IRP6, through their company IRP Solutions that developed a sophisticated software program to help law enforcement collaborate and share information, somehow duped staffing companies into extending credit to them by making false statements about having a current or impending contract with a large law enforcement agency such as the Department of Homeland Security. Former federal appeals judge H. Lee Sarokin confirm that the IRP6 were prosecuted, convicted and received unduly harsh prison sentences for "failing to pay corporate debt" and trial records show that the government's own witnesses debunked the indictment's allegations and proved the government's case to be a fraud. The six men would not be pressured into a plea deal by court appointed attorneys who they say were not interested in using overwhelming proof of their innocence from government discovery to fight for them. As a result, they fired their attorneys and represented themselves.
On June 28, 2017, Judge Christine M. Arguello, shockingly cut IRP6 defendant Gary Walker's sentence in half after he audaciously claimed that he was not in control of his mind when he made the decision to represent himself. Court records show Walker repeatedly saying that his decision to represent himself was an individual decision and not a result of coercion. But Walker now fantastically asserts in recent court filings related to his post-conviction ineffective assistance of counsel proceeding, that his decision to fire his attorney was based on him being under the spell of his mother-in-law, Pastor Rose M. Banks of the Colorado Springs Fellowship Church (CSFC), where he, his wife and his son have attended for decades. Walker also claimed that Pastor Banks kept him away from his family and that the other 5 IRP6 defendants committed a crime even if they deny it. Walker, the President of IRP Solutions says he was not really the President and that Pastor Banks was running the company. IRP6 defendant David Banks discusses Walker's statements about his sister, who is Walker's wife, and Pastor Banks, who is Banks’ mother.
"I think everyone will agree that a man like Gary Walker, who, in his fifties, changes his story multiple times and blames his personal decisions on his pastor, mother-in-law and wife is not a real man, but the world's biggest coward," says IRP6 Defendant Banks. "Gary claiming that my mother was running our company and that he was a front-man President who knew nothing of our business activities is an unbelievable lie," adds Banks. "Rose Banks is 72 years old and virtually knows nothing about computers or cell phones (except to answer it when it rings) and definitely knows nothing about the software business or staffing industry," says Banks. "Irrespective of Gary's despicable and cowardly actions and absurd lies, the facts and evidence in this case shows nothing but our innocence," adds Banks (IRP6). "Our case was a civil matter turned criminal by the government and no amount of lies told by Gary will change that," says Banks. "Judge Arguello knows this is true and so does the AUSA Matthew Kirsch and former U.S. Attorney John Walsh," adds Banks. "Our fidelity and unwavering allegiance is to the truth and I would die before I sell out my mother, my sister, my codefendants or any other person by telling lies to get a shortened sentenced after being wrongly convicted and imprisoned," exclaims Banks (IRP6). "It is unconscionable that Gary hatched this fraudulent scheme and chose to throw his wife and mother-in-law under bus in an attempt to get out of prison when the facts and evidence support his innocence," says Banks.
A Just Cause questions the legitimacy of Judge Arguello’s bizarre handling of Walker's ineffective assistance of counsel proceeding and will be asking Congress to investigate why Judge Arguello not only sealed these proceedings from the public but shortened Walker's sentence after he had served nearly half of his sentence based on an absurd new claim that his mind was under the total control of Pastor Banks. Judge Arguello permitted numerous disgruntled church members who were unaffiliated with the case and left the church years many years ago to provide affidavits demonizing Pastor Banks and attacking her good reputation in the community, but never requested affidavits from the other 5 defendants. Judge Arguello also permitted testimony from Chaplain Henderson of the Florence federal prison camp to discuss his opinions of how Pastor Banks applied the word of God with Walker. "The chaplain made no attempt to contact Pastor Banks and ask her about Walker's claims," says Lisa Stewart of A Just Cause. "Inmate accusations against prison staff are routinely dismissed because they believe inmates are nothing more than lying crooks, but Chaplain Henderson was all too ready to believe the lies Walker was peddling about Pastor Banks," adds Stewart. Chaplain Henderson's hatred for Pastor Banks is nothing new as he refused to allow the IRP6 to view ten DVD's sent from CSFC that were in the prison library.
Judge Arguello also used personal letters from Gary's wife Yolanda expressing her anger and frustration with Walker's treatment of her mother and letters from Pastor Banks to Walker telling him, in essence, that God will punish him and his father for lying. This is Pastor Banks' right and it is based on biblical scripture. The proceeding also shows that Judge Arguello considered how Walker's parents complained about how greeting cards to their grandson were returned to them. "Judge Arguello engaged in misconduct when she used her courtroom to criticize and demean Pastor Banks and the church, cast aspersions on religion and pass judgment on Yolanda Walker's personal letters to her Gary Walker and made negative comment on marital issues that does not concern her," says Stewart. "None of these personal family and religious matters have any place in a post-conviction criminal proceeding related to ineffective assistance of counsel," says Stewart.
Judge Christine M. Arguello and Assistant United States Attorney Matthew T. Kirsch have been under constant public scrutiny and are subject of a judicial complaint (http://bit.ly/2s863pr) and letter to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts (http://bit.ly/2sfjTpr) that alleges Arguello intentionally disregarded both a federal statute and prevailing laws of the 10th Circuit and Supreme Courts that resulted in violations of the IRP6 defendants 5th and 6th Amendment constitutional rights. The other five defendants filed the complaint without Walker. Former federal appeals judge H. Lee Sarokin confirmed the 5th Amendment violation in the Huffington Post and said there was uncontroverted evidence that Judge Arguello violated the defendants Fifth Amendment rights (www.huffingtonpost.com/judge-h-lee-sarokin/the-case-of-the-missing-t_1_b_5340397.html). Pastor Banks and the church have been the targets of Kirsch and Arguello from the beginning.
In the first grand jury in 2007, Kirsch only called church members to testify, including Pastor Banks' daughter Lawanna Clark and her husband, Amos Clark where they all were peppered with questions about Pastor Banks, the church parsonage where she lives, and even asked whether the church was a cult. The grand jury foreman admitted in open court that Pastor Banks, was the target of the government's investigation. "Kirsch and Arguello have been trying to attack and destroy Pastor Banks and the Church from the beginning," says Cliff Stewart of A Just Cause. "First with the grand jury and now they have abused and misused a used a sealed post-conviction court proceeding as subterfuge to attack Pastor Banks’ religion and family issues," adds Stewart. "A Just Cause will immediately notify Congress about Judge Arguello's misconduct," concludes Stewart.
"Gary Walker's lies are disgusting and disgraceful and we will defend Rose Banks who is our Pastor, our friend and our second mother," says IRP6 defendant Clinton Stewart.
"When my family deserted me after this wrongful conviction, Pastor Banks and my friends at the church supported me and visit me every week at the prison," says IRP6 defendant David Zirpolo. In the past, when I was out of work for a year, it was Pastor Banks and the church that helped me pay my bills so I wouldn't be put on the street," says Zirpolo “Yolanda has my power of attorney and I trust her with my life," adds Zirpolo.
"There is much more to tell concerning Judge Arguello and Kirsch's attacks on Pastor Banks and CSFC that A Just Cause will be revisiting in the near future, including Kirsch illegally obtaining church and parishioner banking records without a subpoena," says Lamont Banks, Executive Director of A Just Cause.