Below is a summary of our weekly webinar on July 8th, 2024.

Joseph’s Case Timeline:
We created a detailed timeline of Joseph D. Gregorio’s case, showcasing his journey from hiring our team to hiring Nicholas Kaizer to his significant achievements. His hard work resulted in a significantly reduced sentence (a year and a day compared to guidelines of 41-51 months).

Probation Officer’s Role and Defendant’s Experience:
Personal anecdotes highlighted the importance of honesty and transparency during probation interviews. Instances where a probation officer mocked a defendant for perceived dishonesty underscored the need for clear, truthful communication.

When I Met Government Officials, Including The FBI, I Lied

When I was a defendant, I experienced the fear and uncertainty that many of you feel. I remember being scared to death when I transferred the title of my home to my mother before meeting with FBI Agent Paul Bertrand. I thought I was protecting myself, but it only made me look guilty of hiding assets from potential victims. My lawyer advised me to move it back, but the damage was done. This decision haunted me during my probation interview and weakened my position.

When I first met with FBI agents Paul Bertrand and Chris Anderson, I wasn’t prepared. I lied to them, and as a result, I went from being a witness to a target. This poor preparation and dishonesty led the agents to recommend that the AUSA pursue charges against me. It was a hard lesson learned about the importance of honesty and preparation.

Enroll In Our Complimentary Eight Hour Course: What To Know About Government Investigations

I was given a second chance at veracity during an interview with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). When SEC officials Bob Tercero and Cindy Nixon asked if I knew my co-defendant had taken letterhead from my UBS office, I had to decide whether to continue hiding the truth or come clean. Despite my co-defendant’s misplaced loyalty in denying it, I admitted that I knew he had taken the letterhead and used it to forge my signature. Over the next year, I worked diligently with the SEC, providing honest and comprehensive information. This cooperation helped reduce my sentence to 18 months and spared me from further civil action. This experience taught me the invaluable lesson of honesty and transparency when dealing with government officials.

Additional Tips for Effective Meetings:

Role-Play Practice:
Encourage participants to practice their meetings through role-playing exercises with lawyers and their mitigation team.

Stress Management:
Discuss techniques for managing stress and staying calm during high-pressure meetings. Exercise, read, meditate: do something healthy!

Key Strategies for Effective Communication:

  1. Research and Understand the Role:
    • Know the responsibilities and expectations of the people you are meeting.
    • Understand the context and purpose of the meeting.
  2. Gather and Organize Documentation:
    • Prepare all necessary documents and evidence relevant to your case.
    • Ensure you have copies of any previous correspondence or agreements.
  3. Develop a Clear Narrative:
    • Create a coherent and honest narrative of your situation.
    • Practice explaining your story succinctly, focusing on key points.
  4. Anticipate Questions and Prepare Responses:
  5. Maintain Professionalism:
    • Dress appropriately for the meeting.
    • Arrive on time and show respect for the official’s time and position. Humility is a good thing!
  6. Be Honest and Transparent:
    • Avoid lying or omitting important details.
    • Acknowledge mistakes and show willingness to take responsibility.
  7. Show Empathy and Understanding:
    • Try to understand the perspective of the government officials and who they care most about: victims.
    • Demonstrate that you are aware of the seriousness of the situation.

What Not to Do:

  • Avoid Being Defensive or Aggressive:
    • Don’t argue or confront the official.
    • Stay calm and composed, even if the discussion becomes challenging.
  • Don’t Overpromise or Make Excuses:
    • Be realistic about what you can commit to.
    • Avoid making excuses or blaming others for your situation.
  • Avoid Inconsistencies:
    • Ensure your story remains consistent across different meetings and documents.
    • Inconsistencies can undermine your credibility and ruin opportunities to cooperate.

Thank you to everyone who participated and contributed to the discussions. We look forward to seeing you all at our next week.

Justin Paperny