"The First Ministries in the United States Created to Support People Accused or Convicted of White-Collar and Other Nonviolent Crimes and their Families."

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Out of Hiding, by Rev. Jeff Grant - Successful Resolution of Our Lead Case on Behalf of an Innocent Spouse & Children

Progressive Prison Project 

Innocent Spouse & Children Project

Greenwich, Connecticut



Out of Hiding: 
Successful Resolution of Our Lead Case 
on Behalf of an Innocent Spouse & Children

by, Rev. Jeff Grant
  
The Progressive Prison Project/Innocent Spouse & Children Project announces the successful resolution of our lead case - we believe this is the first time in United States history that an innocent spouse has been compensated after her personal assets have been frozen by the government (together with her husband’s assets when he was the defendant in a financial crimes case)
  

Preliminary Statement, 
Press Release & Prayers
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Preliminary Statement



The hiding place at 263 Prinsengracht 
is relatively spacious… 
“Mr. Kugler thought it would be better to have 
a bookcase built in front of the entrance to our hiding place.” 
Anne writes this in her diary on August 21, 1942…
-AnneFrank.org
 
There are innocent mothers and children suffering in silence in this country.  In hiding places you are least likely to suspect.  Their family names have been blazoned across headlines.  Their children have been taunted, ridiculed and bullied at school.  Their friends have abandoned them.  They are whispered about, pointed at and disdained.  They have been shunned in their churches, synagogues, and civic organizations.  They cannot afford to feed themselves without food stamps, or to heat their homes without state aid.  They sit inside with the blinds and curtains drawn - waiting for the day their homes will be sold out from under them. 

What great sin did these mothers and children commit that we should treat them in such a manner?  They dared to be the first victims of husbands and fathers who were convicted for white-collar crimes.  In the United States, in 2014, this is a Scarlet Letter of the worst kind.  We should be ashamed of ourselves. - Jeff Grant
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Press Release

June 5, 2014, Greenwich, CT: The Progressive Prison Project/Innocent Spouse & Children Project is pleased to announce the successful resolution of our lead case on behalf of an innocent spouse and her children, in achieving for them compensation, and the return of assets, from the U.S. Receiver.  We believe this is the first time in United States history, that an innocent spouse has been compensated after her personal assets had been frozen by the government (together with her husband’s assets when he was the defendant in a financial crimes case).  All compensation recovered for the innocent spouse was strictly from her personal assets that had been frozen, and not from any assets of her husband's that are to be apportioned to other victims of his crimes.  According to Rev. Jeff Grant, Director, "This is not only a life-changing event in the life of this family, it is a milestone in our mission for this unique class of victims - innocent spouses and children of people convicted of white-collar and nonviolent crimes," according to Rev. Jeff Grant, the Project's Director."

[The names and details of the family are being withheld to protect the minor children.]

Loyal readers of our blog, and those of you who have attended our sermons or talks, know that we have been diligently pursuing the rights of innocent spouses and their children in financial crimes matters where the government has asserted overreaching asset freezes, leaving them without means of support or access to counsel.

The Progressive Prison Project/Innocent Spouse & Children Project has served as ministers to these spouses and children, and as team leaders - assembling compassionate ministers, advocates, lawyers and other professionals to provide them spiritual comfort and support, and advocate for their rights. 



 “This woman and her children represent a new class of victims – mothers and children who are deserted by people convicted of white-collar crimes who go off to prison leaving them without sufficient means to survive, and a system that has historically deprived them of their assets and, in so doing, access to counsel.” 
 - Rev. Jeff Grant, Minister/Director, Progressive Prison Project/Innocent Spouse & Children Project



“She came to us hopeless; she and her children were penniless and on the verge of homelessness.” “We are thrilled that through this resolution the end of this type of injustice is in sight for all innocent spouses and children.” 
 - Lynn Springer, Founding Advocate, Innocent Spouse & Children Project.



“After months of negotiations, we were able to achieve this resolution on behalf of this woman and her children only after it became absolutely clear that they would be receiving compensation from the sale of her personal assets that had been wrongly frozen, and not from the sale of any other assets.”  “It has been an honor to be of service to her, her children and all innocent spouses and children in this class of victims suffering in silence.”  
- George F. Hritz, Esq., Lead Counsel.




About the Progressive Prison Project/Innocent Spouse & Children Project, Greenwich, CT: Religious and Spiritual support of families and community members affected by inner-city, white collar and nonviolent incarceration issues. “The First Ministries in the United States created to support the Families of people accused or convicted of white collar and other nonviolent crimes." 

For more information please visit: prisonist.org.

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 Prayers

> Gracious God, The world is full of broken people searching for wholeness and unity. We thank you for the Innocent Spouse and Children Project, that seeks to provide justice for those affected by the criminal actions of others. Help us all to have compassion for all people, whether innocent or guilty. Help us to remember that our own brokenness can be made whole through your love and redemption; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  
- The Reverend Sam Owen is a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of New York, and is the priest in charge of the Haitian Congregation of the Good Samaritan in the Bronx, NY.
 

> And God accepted Job’s prayer and God blessed Job’s later life even more than his earlier life. (Message)

Precious Presence: in your Holy Name we come, YOU who brings us together from different places  and with diverse needs. Some of us are confused and concerned: worried that our yesterdays and the decisions we made in days gone by will affect our tomorrows.

Some of us are weary: worn and sad that it seems as if no one cares about us and what will happen to us. Especially those we love who are still depending on us. In these times we wonder: who can we turn to, who can we lean on, who will help us? God, thank you for your word to us, your word that reminds us of your “never ending”, “always faithful”, “with us even to the end of time”, that we can trust. How you super rule and over rule any situation that would turn the bright day of hope into the darkest despair.

Eternally Faithful Spirit, we lift up to you those who need to know the God of a Second Chance, those who need to know the One who looks beyond our faults and sees our needs, the One who never leaves us alone, no never alone, but who, even when we walk in paths that leads away from You, comforts us with the Blessed Assurance that You are still with us, through it all.

Ever-Loving God, we are confident that you hear our prayers, still we ask you to help us to experience now what it is like to be given a second chance, the opportunity to be restored, renewed, and refreshed by You. And may this 2nd chance, or is a a 3rd, 4th or 5th, thank you God for not keeping count but may this chance transform our hearts and our lives so that we might live faithfully for you. We ask this in your Eternal Name. Amen.
    
- Rev. Dr. Bernard R. Wilson serves as the Senior Minister of the Norfield Congregational Church, Weston, CT
 

> Father, Mother, God, Thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days. For then we have you to lean upon.
Thank you for your presence during the bright and sunny days, for then we can share that which we have with those who have less. And thank you for your presence during the Holy Days, for then we are able to celebrate you and our families and our friends. For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak. For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness. For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing. For those who are lonely, we ask you to keep them company. For those who are depressed, we ask you to shower upon them the light of hope.


Dear Creator, You, the borderless sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the world that which we need most—Peace.

- Maya Angelou (1928 – 2014), American poet, author, dancer, and singer.

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We would like to thank the following professionals and organizations for their service (among the many others who have generously given of their time and spirit):


Lynn Springer, Founding Advocate, Innocent Spouse & Children Project, Greenwich, CT

George F. Hritz, Esq., Lead Counsel, New York, NY

Marion Bachrach, Esq., Thompson & Knight, White-Collar Counsel, New York, NY

George Catlett, Esq., Local Counsel, Stamford, CT

Eric Posmantier, Esq., The Law Offices of Eric Posmantier, Family Law, Ridgefield, CT,  Greenwich, CT

Duane Berlin, Esq., Lev & Berlin, Corporate Law, Norwalk, CT

Joseph Deltito, M.D., Greenwich, CT

Rev. Hopeton Scott, First Baptist Church of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT

Rev. Jim Lemler, Christ Church Greenwich, Greenwich, CT

Rev. Jennifer Owen, Christ Church Greenwich, Greenwich, CT 

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Progressive Prison Project/
Innocent Spouse & Children Project


at Christ Church Greenwich
254 East Putnam Avenue
Greenwich, Conecticut 06830

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1232, Weston, Connecticut 06883

Central Ministry & Office:
Weston, Connecticut

Rev. Jeff Grant, JD, M Div, Minister/Director
(o) +1203.769.1096

(m) +1203.339.5887
jgrant@prisonist.org
jg3074@columbia.edu

Lynn Springer, Advocate, Innocent Spouses & Children
lspringer@prisonist.org
(m) +1203.536.5508

George Bresnan, Advocate
gbresnan@prisonist.org

Please feel free to contact us if we can be of service to you, a friend or family member - we will promptly send you an information package by mail, email or Dropbox. 



To RM, PM & TD, three fine men who sent me off &
picked me up seven years ago this morning -  
a special, personal thank you and blessing.  Jeff

_____________________

Comments from Linked In:

This is a great achievement. Weldon sir, how I wish I can do the same to my fellow inmates here in Nigeria
By Hezekiah Olujobi 
 

9 comments:

  1. How wonderful! It's nice to see something good come from something so wrong.

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  2. This is a wonderful result for an innocent mother and her children. The negotiation and result underscore the brutal negative consequences that flow from our criminal justice system. These consequences inflict serious and permanent emotional and financial damage. The simple act of saying "No, we will not permit this to happen" is very powerful and will hopefully lead more fair minded but ignorant people to consider the beast in their midst.

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    Replies
    1. I tried to enter a comment, which did not post, so I make it here: Congratulations, and keep up the good work! Excellent description of a problem largely in the shadows, and in need of your work. God works in mysterious ways.
      Ken Abraham,
      Founder, Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, (CCJ)
      Founder, Church Reentry Program
      And founder of no more organizations this decade! 
      302-423-4067

      Delete
    2. God bless you for the courageous and meaningful work you are doing. As we know, when it comes to criminal convictions/incarcerations, the family are often the overlooked innocent victims.

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  3. Comment from Joseph Deltito, MD (via email): John Chapter 7 : ‘Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ ... When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, sir.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.’

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  4. The Book of Esther tells the story of a woman who comes into a place of great privilege and must make a difficult decision to speak out on behalf of her whole community. Esther, which means "hidden" was a woman of strength and beauty. Clearly the woman in this case has these qualities as well. May God bless her and your project to bring others out of hiding and into the light of justice.

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  5. So very proud of you for what you are doing! This is great news to hear. You and Lynn are such a blessing and it is wonderful to know that those who are going through this don't have to suffer in silence alone. Keep up the great work!!

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  6. Thank you for bringing awareness to the plight of the families of white collar criminals. They too are victims yet are often times treated as criminals themselves. Hopefully this sets a precedent to protect others in the future.

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  7. Thank you for this thoughtful post. Yes, the families are deeply affected.
    This is an important and significant implication of crimes. Something we all need to give compassion and light to. Thank you for your awareness.
    Lynn Springer

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