Case Study

Joe Erickson - Joe's attorney suggested he would serve 60 months in federal prison. His good preparations led to probation.
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Like many of the people that reach out to us, Joe Erickson felt completely out of sorts when he learned that authorities wanted to speak with him. Joe knew that he had made some bad decisions in his business. To cover up a failing venture, he submitted false invoices to a client. By abusing the client’s trust, Joe solved some short-term liquidity problems. Yet one day in 2018, Joe saw a business card from an FBI Agent with the handwritten words, “Call me.”

Joe understood that he would soon have to answer for his bad decisions.

Case Study:

Joe retained counsel and, with our guidance, learned how to hold his lawyer accountable. We wrote his story, then told his attorney that he wanted to cooperate with authorities and do everything he could to make things right. His attorney told Joe that the government threatened to indict him with mail and wire fraud. Joe didn’t even know what those terms meant. His attorney explained that the charges exposed him to the potential of 20 years in prison. Yet if Joe choose to plead guilty and cooperate, the attorney said he could likely coordinate a plea agreement that would lead to a five-year sentence.

Wanting to do better, Joe began doing his research. He searched for information Google and YouTube. That research led Joe to our videos. Through those videos, he learned that by being proactive, he could work to make things better.

Without talking with anyone on our team, Joe purchased our digital course to prepare for sentencing. He read through the templates and he watched the videos associated with each lesson in the course.

Then, Joe picked up the phone called Justin.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

Rather than absolving himself of all responsibility, Joe took it upon himself to learn the steps necessary to prepare for sentencing. By working with our team to create his life story, Joe was better equipped to advocate in front of his lawyer, probation officer, and judge. He invested time every day to learn and improve.


  • Proactive Learning: Joe dedicated himself to understanding the steps required to prepare for sentencing.
  • Collaboration: By creating his life story with our team, Joe was well-prepared to advocate for himself.
  • Honesty: Joe recognized the importance of being truthful in his personal plea for leniency.


  • Lack of Legal Experience: Joe acknowledged that having never had previous problems with the law, he didn’t know much.
  • Need for Expert Help: Despite accessing our videos, Joe realized he needed a mitigation expert to help him articulate his thoughts effectively.
  • Writing Skills: Joe understood that writing long-form, biographical content for a federal judge was not his strength, nor was it a task he wanted to undertake.


Once Joe began working with our team, we created a deliberate strategy to help the judge learn more about his background. We agreed that Joe could help himself most if we succeeded in creating a package that would help the judge know him better. By the day of sentencing, we wanted the judge to have a great sense of Joe’s understanding of the crime and the damage that he had caused. Further, we wanted the judge to understand how others in the community perceived his character.

Our team of sentence-mitigation experts worked closely with Joe. Before the sentencing date, the U.S. Attorney offered a plea agreement for a 30-month sentence—and the U.S. Attorney asked for 30 months during the sentencing hearing.


After listening to the U.S. Attorney’s request for a 30-month sentence and after listening to Joe’s defense attorney make a plea, the Judge listened to Joe. Before imposing the sentence, the judge told Joe how much he appreciated the personal package that Joe submitted. The judge indicated that Joe’s package gave him a much better perspective, and the narrative and character-reference letters were among the best that he had ever received.

When the Judge brought the gavel down, he surprised the U.S. Attorney, the defense attorney, and Joe by imposing home confinement rather than a term in prison.

See the accompanying text message for a full message we received from Joe Erickson.

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The image above is a screenshot from my iPhone. Joe sent me that text message after his sentencing hearing. In case it’s too small for you to read, I’m typing the message verbatim below. If you’d like to speak with Joe, I’m happy to coordinate the call.


All praise to God. They gave me probation. The US Attorney was asking the judge for 30 months.

The judge stated in court he wished he had friends like mine. He said he has read thousands of letters and nine were the best and most sincere he has ever read. Because of those letters and everything I have done since being investigated, the Judge gave me 5 years probation.

My family and I are unbelievably thankful.

I’m still being processed but maybe we can talk this week.”