Several times a week through our blogs and videos, I share ideas, strategies, and advice that should help you both prepare for and succeed through a government investigation.

In this blog, I want to share my timeline—how I got here. The truth is it’s surreal that I am in a position to work with my team to help so many people get through this system.

I did not see this coming…

Today is April 10, 2023. On this date in 2008, I had just moved out of my home. My good friend, Sam Pompeo, agreed to let me live with him until my surrender to federal prison on April 28, 2008.

The prior three years were difficult. I put on weight. I was depressed and lonely. Friends of mine were getting married, building families, building businesses and traveling the world. I hated myself as I was preparing to go to federal prison.

While dealing with my case, I seemed to regress each time I made any progress. Why couldn’t I build momentum?

The back and forth of gains and regressions went on until I went to federal prison. Then once I get to federal prison things started happening, including:

1: I realized federal prison was the easiest part of the sanction.
2: I saw many of my fellow prisoners scared to go home.
3: I found a mentor, Michael Santos.

Until Michael started mentoring me, I blamed everyone else but me for my imprisonment. I was failing because I failed to accept responsibility for my own life and I mistakenly presumed the world owed me something.

Many prisoners were scared to go home because they feared what awaited them on the other side. Many like me, hadn’t truly invested the time to understand the choices that led us to federal prison. In sum, Michael helped me take responsibility for my own choices and I learned to “own them.” Once I did, my life changed. I just wish I started on January 11, 2005, the day I was fired from UBS.

There is nothing extraordinary about me or my white-collar crime case. That’s why I know anyone willing to do the work can succeed. But I urge you to find a mentor or guide, as I did.

I urge you to review my timeline, then invest the time to read Michael’s book, Earning Freedom. I watched him handwrite the book in prison—that alone was an experience.

Thank you,
Justin Paperny