December 14, 2008
My college baseball coach once yelled at me, “Paperny, for a smart kid, you do some stupid f—— things.” Stupidity is the perfect word to describe my actions immediately after getting fired from UBS on January 11, 2005.
Upon losing my employment from UBS, I wasn’t prepared to own up to the full magnitude of my problems. Rather than consult with a criminal defense attorney, I hired a civil lawyer. Losing my job had exposed me to potential financial penalties in relation to prepaid bonus money I had received and I wanted counsel to advise me through the employment issues. As usual, my only concern was Justin and not the defrauded investors. The attorney began a thread of inquiries into the reasons behind my termination. I quickly dissembled, feigning ignorance of the fraud to which I know had occurred, and to which I had come to play an integral role. In my opinion, the only relevant statement from my attorneys should have been, “Let’s develop a strategy to ensure you collect your quarter million dollars in back end bonuses and stock options.” The question never came.
My lack of honesty with the civil attorney was the first in a series of bad decisions following my termination from UBS. I paid a steep price for my refusal to come clean and accept responsibility. I tried to cover up my culpability with lies. One lie led to another. I took that ridiculous approach in a futile attempt to spare myself the embarrassing and humiliating experience of my actions. I did not want my mother to know that her son had been complicitous in a fraud; I did not want my reputation to suffer. Clinging to my denial only exacerbated my struggles. Inside I felt myself a cypher.
It was not until I came to prison that I realized how my irresponsible actions ripped away at my inner core. I still lay in my rack wondering why it took so long to come clean. I always knew the truth would prevail. Anyone encountering the criminal justice system must embrace the concept of honesty. Please, learn from my mistakes. For too long, I played out every scenario in my mind except the one that made the most sense: The truth shall set you free.