Lesson 13: Management

Lesson 13: Management

A criminal indictment can traumatize a defendant. For those who want to learn how they can manage the process better, White Collar Advice has written this lesson plan. Management is essential. A defendant must understand how he can work most effectively with his defense attorney. This lesson teaches defendants what mistakes to avoid and it also teaches some proactive steps they can take to prepare for a better outcome.

In addition to managing the relationship with counsel, the defendant must also manage his own efforts to prepare for the best possible sentence. At White Collar Advice, we urge our clients to develop a better understanding of the sentencing process. By understanding more, they can more effectively pursue a deliberate strategy to influence the best possible outcome.

Finally, this lesson offers guidance for defendants who want to begin sowing seeds for the time when their criminal prosecution and the sentencing ends. In these days of search-engines, it’s crucial for defendants to embark upon a reputation-management strategy. This lesson offers suggestions, including lessons on daily blogging.

If you’re the type of individual who sees value in creating a comprehensive strategy in response to problems, then you will find value in this lesson on management.

There is a special service that we provide at White Collar Advice. It’s a niche service, specific for people who do not adhere to a criminal lifestyle. They find themselves targeted by the criminal justice system for prosecution and don’t quite know how to respond.

Primarily we work with defendants who’ve been charged with crimes known as “white-collar” offenses. Traditionally, our clients are those who’ve been charged with crimes that include securities fraud, tax fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, or any type of offense that relates to business transactions. Nevertheless, we help anyone who identifies with law-abiding society. If such defendants face troubles with the law, we help them manage the problems more effectively and prepare for the best possible outcome.

Our service doesn’t only add value for the defendant. We provide a supportive role for the entire defense team strategy. That means we serve law firms as well. Although we don’t provide legal advice of any kind, by teaching defendants what they can expect from the journey ahead, including the ancillary consequences that accompany a criminal prosecution, we help defendants work more effectively with defense attorneys. As such, we provide a kind of “concierge” or management service.

This lesson provides more detail about such services. The lesson explains how and why we teach defendants to prepare for the best possible outcome. We focus on such topics as:

•    Defense Attorneys
•    Sentence Mitigation
•    Reputation Management
o    For future career
o    For support network

To best advise on those subjects, we’re going to follow the same strategy that we’ve used in previous lessons. To paraphrase an old Chinese proverb, if you want to know the road ahead, ask someone coming back. With that wisdom in mind, we’ll offer more background on Justin Paperny’s experience. After all, like many of our readers, Justin was a well-educated professional who found himself in the crosshairs of the criminal justice system. He didn’t know criminals. He didn’t see himself as a criminal. He didn’t know where to turn for advice. When Justin first received a target letter, he made decisions that cost him dearly. At White Collar Advice, we’re here to help defendants make better decisions. The following narrative, along with some open-ended questions, will show why we add value to both defendants and to defense attorneys.

Who is Justin Paperny?
Justin Paperny grew up in the affluent community of Encino, California. His parents, Tallie and Bernie, doted on Justin and his brother, Todd. Justin was a gifted athlete, a baseball player who had the privilege of playing in “World Series” events on three different occasions, in little league and while on the baseball team at the University of Southern California. After earning his degree from USC, Justin went on to pass the necessary licensing exams to build a career as a financial professional. By his early 30s, Justin became a rainmaker at different firms, including Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, and UBS.

Pressures in the profession led to Justin losing his way. Although he didn’t begin with any intention of breaking the law, influences on the job led to some decisions that he later came to regret. They began with a hedge fund that Justin represented. The fund generated six-figure commissions each month. Those resources clouded Justin’s judgment. Federal authorities later questioned Justin about his involvement in a potential fraud. Since he didn’t understand the challenges ahead, Justin’s responses to those questions exposed him to sanctions that were far more severe.

“I knew that I had crossed a line,” Justin now freely acknowledges. “One of my client’s Keith, ran a hedge a fund. I had absolute proof that Keith fabricated financial statements and mailed those fraudulent statements to his clients. Rather than doing what I knew was right, I turned a blind eye.”

As securities professional, Justin knew that he had a duty to report the wrongdoing. At the same time, if he reported the fraud that Keith had orchestrated, Justin would be cutting off a steady stream of commissions. Since those commissions could amount to seven-figure earnings, Justin rationalized his way out by convincing himself that he wasn’t doing anything wrong. It was Keith. Yet by allowing Keith to continue, Justin said that he exercised a willful blindness.

“I didn’t see myself as having any criminal intent. I was simply ignoring what someone else was doing. In fact, with my firm’s approval, I crafted a letter for Keith to sign that would show he alone was responsible for the trading decisions that his firm made on behalf of his clients.”

By engaging in those acts, Justin deluded himself into believing that he was isolating himself from the crime. Those delusions did not serve him well when federal authorities targeted him for prosecution.

“I received my first sign of trouble when our chief of compliance at UBS called me over to question me. I left the firm that day in disgrace, incapable of comprehending the magnitude of troubles I faced. My mother recommended me to an attorney who did not practice criminal law. Since I misled the attorney about my culpability, the attorney charged me to begin making inquiries. The lies I told resulted in my not only burning through a $10,000 retainer, they also started me on the wrong track.”

Acknowledging the truth would have meant that Justin had to acknowledge that he was a criminal. Such a thought seemed preposterous, incomprehensible. “I wasn’t a criminal,” Justin convinced himself. “I’m a graduate from USC. I’m a financial professional, a good person. It’s ridiculous to think that anyone would see me as anything other an upstanding member of society.”

Convincing himself that he didn’t have any culpability for the decisions he made truly exacerbated Justin’s problems. Not only did his ignorance about how the system operated cost Justin millions of dollars. The lies he told caused him to serve a sentence that was far more onerous than otherwise would have been the case. After a series of missteps that resulted in his blowing through hundreds of thousands in wasted expenditures, and downward emotional spiral, Justin finally hired the right defense attorney. Finally, he came clean and began the process of rebuilding his life. Had he known more about how the system operated, he would have made better decisions from the start and avoided imprisonment altogether. Instead, after the judicial process concluded, Justin was sentenced to an 18-month sentence. When he surrendered to the white collar camp in Taft, California, he found that many, many white-collar defendants made the same type of bad decisions.

It was in Taft Camp that Justin Paperny made the decision to begin building a career around all that he learned through this process. “Soon after surrendering to camp, I met Michael Santos. He had been incarcerated for longer than 20 years at the time and I learned a great deal from Michael. Not only did I learn how the system operated, but I also learned that my experiences were not unique. A high percentage of white-collar offenders made bad decisions when they initially learned that the government was targeting them for prosecution. Michael I decided to collaborate in ways that would help more people manage their response to a prosecution more effectively.”

Justin served just served about 13 months of his sentence at the minimum-security prison in Taft before authorities transferred him to a halfway house in Hollywood. He returned to society during the worst economic recession in modern history. Yet rather than stumbling, he succeeded in building a thriving career that brought a stable six-figure income. That success didn’t materialize by accident.

Justin and Michael charted a plan that would carry him through each month of his journey. Then he executed the plan and he emerged from prison precisely as he anticipated. Preparations that Justin made in prison resulted in his having an easy experience at the halfway house, and an untroubled experience through his term of supervised release.

As a consequence of the choices that Justin made in prison, his success after release contrasted with the struggles and challenges that so many other white-collar defendants faced. Those who work with White Collar Advice and adhere to the guidance that Justin provides through his consulting will experience the same positive outcome.

“I’ve launched a number of ventures since my release in 2009,” Justin explains, “but my passion and my primary income comes from the guidance I provide to others who encounter troubles with the criminal justice system. I feel passionately about this work. I know that when those defendants reach out to me, they’re broken. They’ve been traumatized with news of a criminal indictment. I can empathize with them. Those people do not see themselves as criminals and they cannot come to grips with how our system of justice would target them for prosecution when there are so many bad people in the world. In helping those individuals restore their sense of confidence, purpose, and meaning, I derive a sense of meaning in my life. I consider myself fortunate to be help others find strength when they’re in their darkest moments.”

Assistance For Defense Attorneys:
Justin’s clients respond to him because of his experiences. When they read about how he lost his way after being targeted for prosecution, they completely identify with the message. Justin is honest. He doesn’t take the approach of sleazy prison consultants who try to prey upon defendants by frightening them with inaccurate stories. Nor does he masquerade as a lawyer who dispenses inappropriate legal advice. Instead, he collaborates with the defense team to empower defendants, sticking to his narrow scope of practice. Justin provides them with knowledge and insight they need to restore confidence.

“I’ve been in this business of providing guidance to people who’ve faced challenges from the criminal justice system since 2009. I’ve worked with more than 100 defendants, but I’ve fielded calls from thousands of defendants. More than 70% of the people who call me are white-collar offenders who’ve been released from prison. They are struggling. They can’t understand why employers won’t hire them. Instead of crushing it, they’re crushed because they can’t gain any traction. They complain about the probation officer who oversees their supervised release. They’re clueless with regard to how they should respond when others point the countless references to fraud that appear with every Google search of their name. I’m proud to say that my clients have a different outcome.”

Defense attorneys appreciate the service that Justin provides. He helps defendants avoid the types of bad decisions he made that waste an attorney’s time and sometimes hinder a defense attorney’s ability to negotiate the best possible response to the charge. When Justin works with defendants, defendants can see that the right decisions lead to the best possible outcome. By providing a guiding light for defendants, Justin helps them come to terms with the situation. They not only communicate more openly with defense attorneys, but the defendants embark upon a deliberate, strategic plan that empowers them through the prison experience.

Sentence Mitigation:
While the defense attorney focuses on providing expert counsel through the judicial process, Justin and his team at White Collar Advice guide the defendant to prepare for the presentence investigation and the sentencing hearing. Justin excels at providing the one-on-one consultations. Through his structured approach, he teaches defendants about the presentence investigation, explaining how it will influence much more than the possible sentence. Administrators within the Bureau of Prisons rely upon that PSI document when determining a defendant’s custody and classification scoring. They also consult the PSI when assessing whether the defendant qualifies for prison programs that can lead to his early release, such as the RDAP program or the halfway house program. Through his expert coaching, Justin assuages the defendant’s anxieties and fears, helping the defendant’s strategy each step of the way.

For defendant’s who request the service, Justin and his team at White Collar Advice can provide much more comprehensive, personalized service. We understand that defense attorneys will create their own sentencing memorandums and make compelling arguments for the sentencing hearing. We provide a service of helping the defendant articulate a much more comprehensive story, one that will explain the full context of his life.

This labor-intensive effort yields a full narrative of the defendant’s background. To the extent that the defendant is ready and willing our experts will work to craft sentence-mitigation packages. By showing the influences that shaped the defendant’s life, the court sees the individual as much more than the crimes for which he stands convicted. Our packages narrate, in an autobiographical style, tangible proof of the defendant’s remorse in his own words. They show that the defendant has introspected, thinking about concepts that include:

•    Family background
•    Childhood influences
•    Educational experiences
•    Career choices
•    Cultural or societal pressures
•    The crime
•    Efforts to reconcile
•    Character testimonies
•    Alternative sentencing possibilities

This first-person narrative shows that the defendant has invested hundreds of hours in deep contemplation about events that have brought him to the attention of the criminal justice system. It shows how the defendant intends to both reconcile with society, serve his term with dignity, and commit to a law-abiding, contributing life going forward.

In addition, our team includes professionals who retired from Federal Probation. We make them available to provide guidance for defendants who commit to preparing. Those who work through this service may begin building a record that will position them for the best possible outcome on the other end of this sentence, in anticipation of an eventual request for early termination from Supervised Release.

Defendants who retain White Collar Advice advance through the prosecution in a much more deliberate manner, well situated and confident that they can rebound despite current troubles from the criminal justice system.

Reputation Management:
Rebounding from the criminal justice system effectively doesn’t happen by accident. Don’t take our word for it. Consult the data. According to the National Institute of Justice, the figures are discouraging:

The Bureau of justice Statistics studies have found high rates of recidivism amoung released prisoners. One study tracked 404,638 prisoners in 30 states after their release from prison in 2005. The researchers found that:

•    Within three years of release, about two-thirds (67.8%) of released prisoners were rearrested.
•    Within five years of release, about three-quarters (76.6%) of released prisoners were rearrested.
•    Of those prisoners who were rearrested, more than half (56.7% were arrested by the end of the first year.

See National Institute of Justice website for validation on above figures.

We know what you’re thinking. “That’s never going to happen to me. I’m never going to find myself in trouble with the criminal justice system again.”

Awesome. We believe you. At White Collar Advice, we’re here to show that anyone who chooses can do much more than avoid future altercations with the criminal justice system. They also can position themselves for phenomenal success. But we want our clients to understand the challenges ahead. Success doesn’t materialize by accident. Neither does failure. As individuals, we make choices every day that influence whether we succeed or fail in the minutes, days, weeks, months, years, and decades ahead. It’s our job to teach clients how to position themselves for success after a criminal prosecution.

Prior to the instant offense, none of our clients could have contemplated the possibility that government officials would target them for prosecution. Our clients see themselves as professionals, as employers, as family men, and as good citizens. When they come to us, they’re in the clutches of the criminal justice system. We strive to position them so that they do not encounter the types of challenges that others face after they have been prosecuted. Because many ancillary consequences contribute to the the reasons that so many people sink into cycles of failure and disappointment after a criminal prosecution. Proper preparation can bring a better outcome.

At White Collar Advice, Justin and his team offer actionable guidance. In addition to preparing defendants to work most effectively with attorneys, preparing for sentencing, and preparing for the prison experience, we help them manage those ancillary consequences that accompany a criminal indictment. One such consequence includes the reputation.

In these days of transparency, it’s impossible to avoid the public eye. A criminal charge in the federal system results in a press release. Take a look at the following links:

•    Department of Justice
•    Federal Bureau of Investigations
•    Securities and Exchange Commission
•    Bureau of Prisons

All of those “.gov” websites rank highly in every search engine. With the unfortunate reality that a criminal charge lives long after the defendant serves his sentence, at White Collar Advice we work with defendants to establish a reputation-management strategy. Instead of allowing the government to control the narrative, we work with defendants to establish a disciplined, deliberate plan that allows them to control the narrative.

What does that mean to control the narrative? It means putting for the effort to shape the perceptions of others. Although clients come to us when they’re at the incipient stages of a criminal prosecution, the reality for everyone we’ve served is that a time will come when the criminal prosecution ends. After the sentencing hearing, the defendant will proceed through the sanction. If prison is a part of the sanction, a time will come when the defendant transfers to a halfway house. Eventually, he will conclude his obligation to the Bureau of Prisons and transition to Federal Probation to begin a term of Supervised Release. Finally, he will finish his obligation to the Department of Justice.

What then? Is it over?

We introduce strategies our clients may follow to ensure that they’re doing more to control the narrative of their life. Those who take our advice embark upon a disciplined, reputation-management plan. They begin publishing their own work to improve their “brand” image. For a sample of how we work, simply Google the names of either Justin Paperny or Michael Santos. You will see that rather than being defined by their crimes, both Justin and Michael have controlled the narrative. As a consequence of their deliberate strategies, when people search their names, the inquiries yield content that makes a favorable impression. Contrast that approach with the Google search of other people who’ve been charged with a crime.

Reputational Management requires a time commitment. At White Collar Advice, we offer a service to help. Individuals who have the discipline may write their own narratives and publish those entries on our site. Those who lack the discipline to write daily content may work with White Collar Advice and we will collaborate to ensure that the client takes a methodical approach to controlling the narrative.

“When I walked into prison,” Justin said, “I didn’t have any idea of what to expect. Not only was I oblivious to the challenges of living in confinement, I was oblivious with regard to the way that I would support myself upon release. For longer than a decade I had been a stockbroker. For a while, I also earned a living selling premier properties as an agent for Sotheby’s.  My felony conviction threatened to bar me from earning a living in those professions. Thankfully, I learned from my friend and partner Michael Santos. By documenting his journey in prison, Michael showed me how he changed the narrative of the way that people perceived him. I made a commitment to do the same.”

Upon Justin’s return to society, he successfully moved beyond his past. As a consequence of Justin’s choice to manage his own reputation, he succeeded in achieving remarkable career goals, despite his conviction for securities fraud. For example, since his release from prison in 2009:

•    Justin raised more than $500,000 to launch the Michael G. Santos Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to improve outcomes of our nation’s criminal justice system and reverse the inequities of mass incarceration.
•    Built a national speaking career.
•    Raised investment capital for private ventures.
•    Established White Collar Advice and Etika to teach others how they too can emerge from a criminal prosecution successfully.

But Justin didn’t only manage his own reputation. He taught his strategies for reputation management to others. They too are using the lessons that Justin and his teach at White Collar Advice offers. For example, see the following links:

•    Richard Bistrong: A former sales executive for a global corporation that pleaded guilty to corruption and bribery charges. As a result of guidance he received from Justin Paperny, Mr. Bistrong managed his own reputation. Instead of hiding from his troubles, Mr. Bistrong now leads a successful career as a keynote speaker and consultant on compliance.
•    Brian Jorgenson: A former executive of Microsoft who pleaded guilty to violating securities laws. As a client of Justin Paperny, Brian has learned to begin managing his reputation in preparation for a successful return to society.
•    Mark Land: A formerly prominent business man sentenced to serve 21-months in prison follows the guidance from White Collar Advice and now blogs actively through his site at Etika.com.

If you’re interested seizing control of your reputation, then take action. Begin working with White Collar Advice today so that we can launch a reputation-management program that suits your needs. Whether you’re a writer or you want to retain us to write on your behalf, we’re confident that writing your own narrative will lead to a better outcome for you. Pursuing a deliberate reputation-management strategy will do more than position you for your future career. By writing your own blogs or biography, you create an opportunity to help those you love and those who love you understand the complications that led to your confinement.

In sum, at White Collar Advice, we stand ready to assist you in managing the all of the fallout that comes with a criminal prosecution. We help defendants work with counsel, we help defendants prepare for the lowest possible sentence in the best possible environment, and most importantly, we help defendants emerge with opportunities to build a better life. If you’re the kind of individual who likes to take action, then contact Justin Paperny today so that we can begin crafting a plan for you.


1.    What steps have you taken to ensure that counsel is best prepared to respond to the charges against you?

2.    In what ways have you laid the groundwork for your best possible sanction?

3.    Describe your the strategies you’ve put in place to influence the outcome of your presentence investigation.

4.    In what ways are you prepared to demonstrate to the judge that you’ve learned from this experience?

5.    How will you influence the way that your future business partners or employers respond to the the charges that the government has levied against you?