DENVER, March 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an order by federal judge Christine M. Arguello, "once criminal proceedings have terminated, the person from whom the property was seized is presumed to have a right to its return, and the government must demonstrate that is has a legitimate reason to retain the property." (Dist. of Colo. Case # 09-00266-CMA)." Judge Arguello accepted federal prosecutor Matthew T. Kirsch's arguments (Doc. 893) to deny returning IRP Solutions' intellectual property. "Because the seized items might be necessary to defend any habeas proceedings or otherwise needed in any additional, subsequent proceedings, the United States must retain possession of them until the deadline to file such pleadings has passed," argued Kirsch. "The government would be willing to return the remaining items before October 7, 2015 upon receipt from each defendant...a signed, knowing and voluntary waiver of this right to bring any collateral attack pursuant to section 2255," Kirsch added.
"With the support of Judge Arguello, AUSA Kirsch attempted to extort a waiver of the defendant's personal legal right to collaterally attack their convictions by illegally holding IRP corporate assets hostage," adds Lamont Banks, Executive Director of A Just Cause. "Furthermore, the search warrant called for the seizing of financial documents and emails associated with IRP's business dealings with staffing companies, not patent documents, software engineering notebooks, confidentiality agreements and other vital intellectual property that the FBI took outside the scope of the search warrant," asserts Banks.
Black's Law Dictionary defines a criminal proceeding as "a judicial hearing, session, or prosecution in which a court adjudicates whether a person has committed a crime or, having already fixed guilt, decides on the offender's punishment." "Habeas petitions, which are commonly used by individual defendants to challenge length of sentences, does not qualify under the law as a criminal proceeding," says Banks. "The government has no lawful right to retain property outside of an investigation, trial and sentencing, " adds Banks, "and that is confirmed by the courts."
According to the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals (U.S. v. Noyes, 557 Fed. Appx. 125 (2014), "it is well settled that the Government may seize evidence for use in investigation and trial but it must return property once the criminal proceedings have concluded." "The illegitimate habeas excuse used by Kirsch as an extortion tactic to gain a waiver of the defendants' rights expired over 5 months ago, yet the IRP Solutions property still has not been returned," adds Banks. "Neither Judge Arguello nor U.S. Attorney John Walsh has forced Kirsch to honor his word and abide by the law," adds Banks.
According to the search warrant affidavit, IRP Solutions was a "purported" software development company. "The search warrant was a fraud to begin with," says Banks. "The FBI far exceeded the scope of the search warrant and stole IRP intellectual property for what I believe was for nefarious purposes," adds Banks. "Kirsch's continuing illegitimate actions to withhold IRP Solutions' intellectual property is dubious at best," charges Banks.
"The government's contention that their business was a scam defies reality," exclaimed former Federal Judge H. Lee Sarokin on the Huffington Post. "IRP Solutions truly had a viable product and appeared to moving forward to acquire state and federal law enforcement contracts for their product," said retired federal agent Gary Hillbarry in an affidavit to the FBI 22 days prior to executing the search warrant.
According to Don Vilfer, Attorney, Certified Fraud Examiner, former FBI Supervisory Special Agent, and owner of forensic analysis firm Califorensics, "The CILC software...included a large amount of complex coding that would have required significant development. There is a market for the functionality that CILC software offers and it would undoubtedly be of interest to many law enforcement agencies."
"IRP Solutions, its executives and the CILC software were never a scam," says Cliff Stewart, A Just Cause. "The government unlawful retention of the IRP's intellectual property is doing irreparable harm to the company's ability to conduct business. "We will take this matter up in Washington, DC because the federal courts in Colorado are useless," concludes Stewart.
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SOURCE A Just Cause