August 18, 2014
Every week I spend some time reading Rachel Dollar’ s Mortgage Fraud Blog. Her blog provides weekly updates on indictments, guilty pleas and more on white-collar crimes as it relates to the mortgage industry. Unfortunately, there are no shortage of people getting indicted and sent to prison. Many of my clients have been featured on her blog.
On the home page of Rachel Dollar’s issue, for example, I read that Armando Granillo, of Huntington Beach, a former sales associate with Fannie Mae, was sentenced to 18-months in prison for accepting kickbacks. Flipping through another release took me to Leonard Williams of Sacramento. Mr. Williams was convicted of mail fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering.
It was Shakespeare who wrote about the tangled web we all weave through the course of our lives. I’m quite certain that both Mr. Granillo and Mr. Williams now look back at the behavior that uprooted their lives and wonder how in the world they could have allowed themselves to spin so out of control. The sentencing and indictment may be the beginning of their descent into the whirlpool of justice, but they may find themselves sinking into far deeper despair before it’s over. I’ve seen it happen time and time again. That’s why I’ve built a career around the concept of helping people who struggle with the criminal justice system and all of its complexities. They need to know that they can emerge from this experience pure and with their dignity in tact.
I’m not a lawyer. I am more like the character Virgil in Dante’s Divine Comedy, The Inferno. I wrote about this analogy in my book Lessons From Prison. For those who don’t remember Dante’s famous contribution to classical literature, Dante wrote his trilogy as if he were a character struggling through some type of midlife crisis. While running through the woods he found himself being pursued by wild beasts. Those beasts salivated at the thought of consuming Dante. The beasts were symbolic representations of such vice as lust, greed, and a quest for power that consumes so many men. Mr. Granillo and Mr. Williams may relate. Dante tried to outrun the beasts, but he came to an end. At the end, he met Virgil, the classic poet of ancient times. Virgil told Dante that an escape route from his crisis existed, but he would pass through the circles of hell to make it through. Virgil agreed to accompany Dante as his guide, explaining all of the iniquities of those who suffered through the various rings of hell.
That’s my role, and it is one that people like Mr. Granillo and Mr. Williams could use during this trying time in their lives. Indeed, I’m convinced that any individual who faces a problem with the criminal justice system could gain some insight from services that I offer. Because although I am not a lawyer and I cannot undo the decisions that opened their problems with the criminal justice system, what I can do is help individuals navigate their way through the chaos they are about to embark upon. And by doing so, I can help them emerge with better prospects for success. I can do so because I’ve climbed through those rings myself, but in the end, I emerged successfully. I am available to help anyone who faces a sentence of imprisonment.