Monday, May 4, 2009
Fifteen Days Until My Release From Taft Federal Prison Camp
I’m very happy today as I received an indisputable confirmation that I am going home in two weeks. As federal prisoners, we’re all required to hold full-time jobs. A full-time job in prison differs somewhat from a full-time job in society. My job has required that I sweep and mop hallways in the housing unit where I live. The only prisoners exempt from this work requirement at Taft are new arrivals and those scheduled for release within two weeks. Today I received notice that I am not required to work any more.
I am not opposed to working or earning my keep. Yet reading that I’ve been relieved of my work responsibilities brings a great sense of joy. I recognize the news as proof that my time for release has nearly arrived. Fifteen days, or two more Tuesdays.
The good news is that I’m ready. That brings me to the second speech I’ve prepared for corporate audiences. I call this speech, “Beware of Perils Ahead”. Like the others, I’ve organized this discussion in a 60-minute presentation through which I share some stories from my book, Lessons From Prison. I outline the speech as follows, though I know the material will and can make adjustments as necessary quite easily:
Introduction (20 minutes): I provide readers with more background on my career as a stockbroker at UBS. I want them to understand the culture in which I work, the pressures I perceive, the values by which I live. My crime centers around the responsibilities I have in overseeing a client who runs a hedge fund. Although I know the hedge fund operates fraudulently, I turn my head in order to receive the steady flow of commissions. That decision returns to haunt me later, and I pay a heavy price.
Mark (25 minutes): I transition into a discussion of a man I met in prison He served a seven-year sentence on account of his accepting a severance check from an entity he suspected as being fraudulent.
Bob (15 minutes): A second story from a former CEO will help hammer home the point. Years after he okayed his publicly traded company in a bartering agreement to meet analyst forecasts, he faced a criminal indictment. The company with which he bartered provided evidence against him, and the Department of Justice indicted.
Conclusion (10 minutes):
Taken together, these stories help me make the point that audiences must consider the perils ahead.