Prison Advice

May 16, 2015

A gentlemen called me this morning after googling “life in federal prison.” He also told me that he googled, “prison advice”, “white-collar crime”, and “the residential drug abuse program.” Through his searches he told me that he came across an ABC interview I did in January that discussed the sentencing and likely prison term of former Virginia Governor, Bob McDonnell. If I recall correctly, I believe something ran on TV, but I did not know a YouTube video also existed. This gentlemen who called me told me that he appreciated and valued my comments about how Governor McDonnell, or anyone for that matter, could spend time in prison.

I am thankful this gentlemen told me about this video. Based on the comments I made in this video, and of course our call today, we have agreed to work together for the next three weeks as he prepares for his surrender to the prison camp in Sheridan, Oregon. We will also do some RDAP, or residential drug abuse program, planning with my buddy and colleague, Seth Ferranti. Seth’s journey is an incredible one that one day will be a movie. For those who wish to learn more about Seth visit

Anyways, for those that have interest I attach the YouTube video titled, “Convicted Former Virginia Governor Gets Prison Tips”


Prison Advice with Lions of Liberty

May 14, 2015

Prison Advice with Lions of Liberty

For those that have interest in listening to my thoughts on preparing for success from prison and prison reform, I attach a podcast video I filmed with Lions of Liberty. I met the folks at Lions of Liberty, and specifically, Marc Clair through my colleague Michael Santos. I appreciated the opportunity to contribute, and I hope listeners find value in the podcast.

Justin Paperny

Do’s and Don’ts Behind Bars

May 9, 2015

Do’s and Don’ts Behind Bars

As my clients would tell you, I loathe the “me” marketing. You know the, “I have been here and done that.” Just hate it. If anything I have shortened my bio each year to remove the “me” marketing approach. I hope the body of work I am creating stands on its own without my having to push it constantly. Occasionally, however, I must present credentials and testimonials to confirm my ability to help. With that disclosure out of the way, I attach a short piece that CNBC ran that included my work. The video was pulled from the show White-Collar Convicts. In this portion of the interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin, I was explaining some of the do’s and don’ts of living in federal prison. For those preparing for prison and who wish to make the journey more productive, this short video might be of interest to you.

Justin Paperny

P.S. – A quick call out to my friend and client, Mark Land, who was released from Terre Haute Federal Prison Camp this week. Mark had an incredibly productive term, and followed through on each of the commitments he laid out. I look forward to working with him in the future.



April 28, 2015


Seven-years ago today I surrendered to Taft Federal Prison Camp.  Admittedly, even after my surrender I still had an air of arrogance, of entitlement. Prison changed me for the better! Rather than continue to complain, however, in time I developed a sense of perspective and gratitude for the love my support network offered me and for the opportunities that awaited me. Some of those opportunities were bigger than others. I did not step right into a speaking career and in front of audiences that approached 5,000 people.   Nor did I have a full list of prison consulting clients I was helping prepare for their own battle with the criminal justice system.  No, I released from prison to a job in a real estate office picking up phones, sending faxes and doing some social media work–all of it for a modest wage.

That first job out of prison was part of the journey. I welcomed the chance to work, to demonstrate to my probation officer that I was accountable, and to my community and family that I recognized I was starting over. To that end, it is not uncommon for some people in prison to think some work is beneath them. In Lessons From Prison, I share a story about a friend who made fun of a fellow prisoner for securing a job at McDonalds upon his release. Rather than laud him for working, he criticized him for taking a job that he felt was beneath him. Such is the mindset for some prisoners–it is part of the reason so many fail, then call me and say, “Hey, no one wants to hire and pay me for the skill set I really have. What up, dude.” What up is they do not see the longer term vision, of recognizing that where we are and what we do today will influence our life–good or bad–tomorrow. I got that. Some do not.

I filmed a short video about an educated offender and client who is driving for Uber. Yes, driving for Uber is beneath his skill set. Still, he understands it is part of the journey and working right now is essential to his health and financial future. If you have interest in watching and learning from those who will succeed, I attach the video…

CNBC, NBC and Lifetime

April 16, 2015

CNBC, NBC and Lifetime

Unlike some of the fine men with whom I served time, I am not a conspiracy theorist. I do not believe the Department of Justice wakes with the goal of throwing every citizen in prison. Now, for clarity, I do believe we lock up too many people. I believe many criminal cases should be handled civilly, and that the government needlessly punishes with respect to the lengths of sentencing and the way they portray convicted white-collar offenders on the internet (amongst myriad other things). As I often tell my clients, when I was a stockbroker I was out to raise money, perform for my clients, and advance my career. Prosecutors are no different. Rather than trying to outperform the S&P 500, however, they prosecute us, secure lengthy prison terms and do it all under the guise of justice. In so doing, they advance their own interests. Then when they become defense attorneys these former prosecutors leverage off their career while working in the government. Indeed, they are deliberate, smart, calculated. Why aren’t more defendants?

When I read some of the releases the government puts out, I get nauseous. Many of them are written about my clients. Much of what they write is true, but much of it is spun to fit their narrative. I can willingly accept responsibility for the crimes I committed–and do–but that does not mean I have to agree with every piece of literature written about me. Much like I was out to paint a rosy picture of my services as a stockbroker, these press releases aim to convey a one sided message. It does no good to complain about it. Those that succeed embrace the reality, establish a timeline to overcome their ruined reputation, then reverse engineer their way to success. In other words, if I want to do “fill in the blank” in 3 years, I must do “fill in the blank” tomorrow.

To combat my press release, I took calculated, deliberate actions. To begin, I began writing openly and honestly about my culpability in the offense, what I was learning, and wrote out step-by-step how I intended to make investors turned victims whole. Then, I asked my readers or viewers to hold me accountable. As I wrote in the epilogue of Lessons From Prison, “If I said I was going to do something, I did it.” Now, some prisoners called me crazy for writing openly about the Ponzi Scheme I facilitated. Even some family members begged me not to use the words “Ponzi Scheme” because I would always be affiliated with Bernie Madoff.

I succeeded because I began to think differently. Rather than live in the shadows or cower in the face of adversity, I wanted to respond from a position of strength and take back control of my life. It was not easy. It’s more than writing a check to a lawyer. It is more than asking people to write character reference letters. It’s speaking openly and honestly about your crimes, why you did it, and how you will make amends.

I have had success conveying this message through television. On April 29, 2015, CNBC will air an interview I filmed with Andrew Ross Sorkin. In June, NBC will air a 60-minute documentary on my story–in my words. I have earned the right to tell my story and the data and record I have created since crossing into the wrong side of prison boundaries gives me authority to tell it my way–I pass all checks or due diligence requests.

Recently, I began working with Lifetime to film some clients who are on their way to prison. Some of the events I did before surrendering to prison and after prison were for free. This one, however, will pay each participant handsomely. Ten-thousand dollars to be exact for all participants who agree to be filmed before their surrender to prison. It is not for everyone and to be clear not everyone would qualify. Showing honest remorse and contrition are two requisites. If you do not quality, please do not reach out to me.

Imagine getting a chance to document to the world how you will emerge stronger, make your family proud, and get paid $10,000 in the process. If that is not a win-win I am not sure what is. Unlike American Greed or others that seek to filet the white-collar offender, I agreed to help Lifetime because they convey a different message. Rather than embarrass, then seek to humanize, to show what accepting responsibility looks like, and allow us to get on record how we will overcome the trauma that accompanies imprisonment.

If any of my readers have interest in participating in this event with Lifetime–and with it taking back the narrative–reach out to me at [email protected] or 818-424-2220.

Be deliberate like me, calculated and take back the narrative. With it, you will begin to take back control of your life.


Prison Sounds and Worries

Prison Sounds and Worries

5:45 am, April 3, 2015, jesup, GA. I woke up at 5:15 am this morning because my cellie’s “snore reduction machine” is making a high pitched howling sound and I cannot go back to sleep. I listen too the early morning sounds of prison that echo through our unit. Besides the high pitched howl of the machine, I hear toilets flushing, microwaves beeping, plastic mop buckets being dragged across the floor, guys yelling in the stairwell, alarm clocks ringing, P.A. System announcements, Guys passing gas, Guys spiting in sinks, Guys blowing their noses, and the occasional banging of a metal locker. Suddenly, the correction officer walks in and announces stand up fog count (an extra count of prisoners as a result of foggy weather). Everyone leaps out of bed and stands by their bunks to be counted. Oh well, my day has started. Today is my Son’s birthday. I made him a card but did not mail it because I did not want to embarrass him at school with mail that has a prison return address.

( prisoner mail must show your prison I.D. number and the name of the correctional institution ). I am going to call him later today and wish him a happy birthday. We will talk about Spartan final four basketball and Red Wing hockey. I am proud of him. He has taken dramatic blows over the past several years (his brothers death and my crime) and He has bounced back. He is doing well in school and has graciously accepted the severe consequences caused by the sins of his father.

Prison-crazy morning sounds you could never imagine at home!

Prison-where your return address prevents you from saying what you really want to say!

Ken Flaska

p.s. Happy Birthday Son!

Are you getting sentenced to prison?

March 26, 2015

Are you getting sentenced to prison?

Much of my attention has been directed towards completing the new Federal Prison Advice membership site. I have been writing, filming videos I could never share on YouTube, and recording podcasts that will provide value to our members. I’m excited to be able to reach and impact more people.

The membership will be available for a one time registration fee of $497, then after 90 days the cost will be $19.95 a month. That modest monthly fee will allow me to continue to coach members, provide guidance through our weekly office hours, our webinars, and it will help offset the massive amounts of new member content we will be adding monthly. This is not some static site, but rather a site that will continue to evolve with content designed to cover all aspects of the system, including essential tools for post-prison life. For that reason, family members are welcome to participate, engage and learn. In sum, I created a program my family and I needed when I read:

Justin Paperny V The United States of America

An additional benefit to the membership program, is a sentencing tool that helps prisoners get an extra 1-6 days off their sentence (yes, I know it is not the game changer of the century, but time is time!). Note, this tool only works if you can pick your surrender date (as I did), or go in at a different time after you received a date. It is possible to rearrange your surrender date with some planning.

This tool also gives you the ability to try to pick your prison because you will see the space available relative to capacity. If you have interest in getting a few extra days off and trying to ensure you get the best institution before you surrender to prison, watch this video to learn how. This sentencing tool will be available separately, and also part of the larger Blueprint Training program I created.



Free Registration at Federal Prison Advice


March 9, 2015

The new site at will be live in a week or two. I am busy creating content, filming courses and adding more content to the membership page. As a courtesy to those who have interest in program, I will offer some videos, a copy of Lessons From Prison, and a lesson plan for free. The content below is what I will add to the free registration page. I already have at least 6 people waiting to enroll, and will stop at 100! Exciting. Reach out and get on board before I shut it down for the year. JP


Author of Lessons From Prison, Ethics in Motion and The Blueprint Training Program

“Justin is an amazing resource for my law firm’s criminal defense clients.”—Dmitry Gorin, Criminal Defense Attorney; Former L.A. Deputy District Attorney

“Without this program I am certain that I was on a path to fail,”—Mark Land, Prisoner, Terre Haute Prison Camp

Dear Friends,

Thank you for participating in this free, no obligation offer to test The Blueprint. It is my job to say this, I suppose, but I know if you make the effort to learn (as I and my clients do) you will emerge from this experience differently than those who continue to fail. If we can do it, I know you can too.

Frankly, the fear of the unknown can feel so paralyzing some of us never begin preparing. And I know some of you have come across my work before, and just did not feel as if the timing was right. For that reason, I offer this portion of The Blueprint for free to get you going, to work your way into action. I truly believe there has never been a better time in our history for felons to actively work to level the playing field (or even be further along) than those who have not endured our experience, or gained our perspective. With our help, you will seize opportunities because you will be ready to take them!


Once you log in you will have access to videos, books and lesson plans for your review. You will also have access to a training podcast I collaborated on with my partner, Michael Santos. Further, to truly enhance and shorten your learning curve you are invited to schedule a complimentary call with me.

Again, I created this free content so you can begin taking incremental action in the privacy of your home. Personally, there is nothing more exciting and powerful than sitting down, thinking and preparing to overcome what some would call the “battle of a lifetime.” You may call it something else, but whatever the name, if you prepare with our “Blueprint” you will succeed, of that I am sure.

Like any educational or transformational process, you will get out of this journey what you put into it—flip through it for three minutes here and there and you get nothing. Take a few notes, implement one minor strategy and you get no meaningful impact. Contemplate the strategies, however, and you begin to create the lasting change that is needed to emerge successfully.

A lot of people (including some angry competitors) have asked why I’m doing all of this: giving away a book I wrote in prison, creating all these free videos and tools, posting so much free content all over the web. The answer is simple. We all need a little help. I was blessed to work alongside and learn from Michael Santos for each of the 388 days I spent in prison. I was blessed and fortunate to be put on a path to success and transformation in my life, and I feel this need to share it with as many defendants and families as I possibly can. As I wrote in Ethics in Motion, “none of us have truly arrived. Rather, we are all works in progress.” I still have a lot to learn, and a lot to give. Teaching and giving back helps me accomplish both.

I also trust you will find value in the free resources and then one day join The Blueprint or consider hiring me personally to coach you throughout this whole process. There is a lot we can get done together.

For now, I encourage you to fill in your email to the left and get started. Please take the time and get started today.

Talk soon,
Justin Paperny

P.S. – Once we have 100 members training through The Blueprint, we will close it until 2016. Scores of clients are already benefiting through this program, so I do not suspect it will take too long.

Where do I rank?

March 3, 2015

In addition to working as a prison consultant and online trainer, I do still enjoy speaking about ethics and white-collar crime. Below is some feedback from my presentation in New York.

Dear Mr. Paperny,

On behalf of the IMCA Specialty Conference Committee and staff, thank you for participating in IMCA’s 2015 New York Consultants Conference. We’ve received very positive feedback from the conference attendees on the quality of the program, and your time and commitment is certainly a factor.

Below is your session evaluation scores and comments. The scores are on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest and the average speaker score was 4.06. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

General Session 7: Lessons Learned from Prison (Ethics), Justin Paperny

Content was of value. 4.19
Overall Presentation. 4.19


1 Very brave and stand up individual, it is good that he is taking advantage of his second chance
2 Excellent….Sobering
3 Very impactful.
4 Interesting anecdotes from a convicted felon.
5 Nothing new for those who stay within compliance.
6 Great way to make a dry topic interesting.
7 Great and unique approach.
8 Ethics is a tough topic to do well. I thought what he said was valuable.
9 Compelling
10 Good job.
11 Scary.
12 Eye opening and valuable lesson.
13 Passionate speaker.
14 Great speaker!
15 A perfect way to end the conference- after all, there is no point applying any of the material learned if one is not going to be ethical in their practice!
16 He was a great speaker and his story was insightful. Thanks for bringing him.
17 Very brave.
18 We need more stories like this/examples. Great speaker – the best one!
19 Very good talk.
20 Good perspective!
21 Outstanding heartfelt delivery of tough story.
22 Terrific!
23 Excellent presentation! This was most worthwhile of the conference.
24 Hmm? Food for thought.
25 Great ethics session, wish they were all this good.
26 Young broker story. Not a good fit for experienced advisor audience.
27 Awful story. Hopefully this guy is rehabilitated.
28 Interesting. Eye-opening.
29 Great ethics lesson. Need more like this. Reminders and examples of what not to do.
30 Great lessons! Thank you for transparent comments.
31 One of the best ethics sessions and presenters I have seen in all of my IMCA conferences.
32 Poignant. It’s easy to slip over the line and it’s good to be reminded about how easy.
33 Doesn’t sound very repentant and still seems to believe any of us would act the same.
34 Appreciate that the committee looks for interesting Ethics speakers. I hope they continue to find interesting speakers instead of the BORING ones we have had in the past.
35 Very dynamic speaker
36 Interesting. However, not speaking to the right audience. Should be talking to folks entering the business. FAs with CIMA and the like are not likely to need this.
37 Always a compelling presenter in this spot @ NYC. Maybe unfortunate that this spot is so reliably filled but lessons presented are illuminating and hopefully preventative for some.
38 Couldn’t relate to it at all. Just stupid decisions. What he didn’t say was if he even played at USC. Non-scholarship athlete etc. Sorry for him and his family but it’s hard work to get where they are….
39 He was a great speaker and how he shared what he did and how it could happen was really well done.
40 He didn’t bring his story full circle of how to be on the lookout for signs of ethical lapses. He really was a whiner and a blamer and his acts were criminal. It wasn’t ethical issues that led him to the poor choices he made, they were criminal. I would change his topic to not what we could do but what OSJ’s and supervisors should look out for.

Many Thanks!

Stockholm Syndrome In Federal Prison

February 25, 2015

Stockholm Syndrome In Federal Prison

Understanding our tendencies helps in life. It really helps in prison. To that end, I share a video I filmed about a client’s tendency to speak to guards. I offer reasons why many white-collar offenders tend to speak to guards without fully understanding the ramifications of doing so. If you are going to prison, and have interest in preparing, I would watch this video.

As an aside, The Blueprint Program I mention in this video will be going live next month at I will open the initial membership to 50 people. All of my private clients (and their families), of course, will have access. I will write more about The Blueprint in the coming days, weeks, and months. If you have interest, reach out.

Justin Paperny