Published July 2019 on Spotfiy

226: Justin Paperny | Lessons From Prison

1. Introduction

Justin, a white collar criminal defense consultant, shares his experiences in prison and provides insight into why good people can end up on the wrong side of the justice system. He also explains why his time in prison was one of the best experiences of his life.+

2. White-Collar Crimes

White-collar Crimes:Justin shares his experience as a stockbroker who ended up pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, and securities fraud. He explains the details of mail fraud and how it led him to federal prison. Jordan and Justin also discuss how prosecutors often tie white-collar cases into a conspiracy to make it easier to prosecute.+
Overcoming Adversity:Justin reflects on his privileged upbringing and how it left him unprepared to handle adversity when it came. He shares how this led to his downfall and how he sees similar traits in some of his wealthy clients.+

3. Lessons from Prison

Bank Fraud:Justin discusses how he contributed to a bank fraud scheme and rationalized his actions to himself. He explains how he knew his client was lying about their portfolio but didn't say anything because he wanted to continue earning commissions.+
Life After Prison:Justin Paperny, a former white-collar criminal, talks about his experience in prison, the corruptibility of compliance managers, and how he became a prison consultant and business advisor after his release. He shares insights into the values of compliance managers and brokers and how they differ, as well as the potential for corruption in the industry.+
Lessons From Prison:Justin shares his journey through federal prison and how he learned from others to document his experience in a daily blog. He talks about his book, Lessons From Prison, which chronicles his journey and how good people who made out of character choices can emerge successfully. He also covers the hardest part of the criminal justice system, which is coming home and starting over.+

4. White Collar Crime Insights

White Collar Crime:Justin explains how no white-collar prisoner wakes up and decides to ruin their life in a day. It's a period of bad decisions over time, rationalizing the conduct, and working in an aggressive corporate culture that encourages short-taking. Jordan agrees and compares it to the boiling frog analogy.+
Rationalizing White Collar Crime:Justin Paperny shares insights on how white collar criminals rationalize their behavior and how it can lead to fraud. Jordan Harbinger agrees that most white collar criminals are not sociopathic and instead rationalize their actions to continue committing fraud. They discuss how easily people can rationalize choices and how it can lead to negative consequences in their personal and professional lives.+

5. Finding Value in Prison

Justin shares his experience of finding value in prison and the climb of working his way back up. He talks about the beauty of having no Internet in prison and how it was cathartic and therapeutic for him. He also discusses the challenges of waiting and wondering before surrendering to prison and how it can be crippling for some people.+

6. Sponsors

Own Your Online Presence:Justin shares the importance of having your own website and taking control of your online presence, with the help of HostGator's simple drag and drop builder and arsenal of tools.+
Crowdsourcing for Business:Jordan and Jason talk about DesignCrowd, a crowdsourcing platform that helps busy business owners get designs for logos, websites, and more from over 700,000 designers around the world. They offer a special $100 VIP offer for listeners, and if you don't like any of the designs, they'll give you your money back.+

7. Legal Advice & Shady Lawyers

Misguided Legal Advice:Justin explains that while lawyers may give excellent advice, some defendants may not take it, leading to poor outcomes. He also discusses how defendants can hold lawyers accountable and make better experiences through the system.+
Shady Lawyers:Justin Paperny discusses the unethical behavior of some lawyers who size up their clients based on their net worth and charge exorbitant fees. He also talks about the symbiotic relationship between defense attorneys and prosecutors and how some attorneys are unwilling to fight for every detail, especially when a client is innocent.+

8. Fraud Triangle Insights

The Fraud Triangle:Justin explains the concept of the fraud triangle and how it applies to his own experience as a stockbroker. He discusses the pressures he faced and how he rationalized breaking the law, ultimately seizing an opportunity that led to his downfall. This triangle is a common thread among all those who have served time in prison, regardless of their background or crime committed.+
White Collar Defendants:Justin Paperny discusses the mindset of white collar defendants who get caught up in illegal activities, including the admissions scandal. He also talks about the difficulties that defendants face when cooperating with the government and the difference between lying once or twice and making it a way of life.+

9. Performance and Prestige

Pay for Performance:Justin shares his experience of being paid based on his performance rather than expectations. Jordan questions the worth of paying for a lecture to keep Wharton students out of prison. The discussion leads to the importance of paying for value and performance rather than just expectations.+
College Admissions Scandal:Justin and Jordan discuss the college admissions scandal and how parental pressure can lead to cheating. They touch on how parents often want their children to attend prestigious universities for bragging rights, and how cheating can be a way to achieve that goal. They also discuss the importance of not pushing the boundaries too far and risking getting caught.+
College Admissions Scandal:Justin discusses the college admissions scandal and how it all came crumbling down due to the fraud committed by parents. He also talks about how some people end up going to prison for breaking laws they didn't even know existed, such as structuring.+

10. Bank Fraud Laws

Justin explains how people can unknowingly break bank fraud laws by structuring their deposits to avoid the $10,000 threshold. He also shares a case where a successful executive went to prison for structuring to pay off his mistress.+

11. Sponsors

Cool Sleep:Jordan shares his experience with The Pod by Eight Sleep, a mattress with responsive surface technology that keeps you cool all night, saving you money on AC bills. The mattress can be set to cool each side differently, making it a game-changer for hot summer nights.+
Quality Supplements and Decadent Ice Cream:Jason shares about Solgar's high-quality supplements and offers a discount code. He also talks about Häagen-Dazs' Trio Crispy Layers ice cream collection, with 15 layers of decadence.+

12. Tendencies and White Collar Crime

Understanding Tendencies:Justin shares the story of Steve, an inmate who was easily exploited due to his people-pleasing tendencies. They discuss the importance of understanding one's tendencies and how social and career pressure can lead people to break the law.+
White Collar Crime:Justin Paperny shares the story of a client who was swept into a fraud scheme by his boss and ended up getting a longer prison term than his boss because he didn't cooperate with the government. He emphasizes the importance of intent and warns listeners about the harsh punishment for white collar crimes.+

13. Criminal Rationalization

Criminal Rationalization:Justin shares how many defendants rationalize their actions and feel entitled to the money they stole. They often live in denial and believe they shouldn't be prosecuted, comparing themselves to executives who didn't go to prison during the mortgage meltdown. However, over time, many come to understand their bad choices and the government's version of events.+
Acknowledging Mistakes:Justin Paperny discusses how acknowledging mistakes and taking accountability is crucial in overcoming failure. He emphasizes the importance of owning up to one's actions and the impact they have on others, even in cases where it may be difficult to face the truth. Jordan Harbinger shares his experience volunteering in a prison and how many inmates had difficult upbringings that led to their actions. The conversation highlights the importance of self-reflection and taking responsibility for one's actions.+

14. Sentencing and Prison Insights

Sentencing Insights:Justin shares insights on how acknowledging privilege and owning up to mistakes can help white collar defendants during sentencing. He encourages clients to draw comparisons between themselves and those who had it harder, and not to run from their privilege.+
Prison Perspective:Justin shares his experience in prison and how he learned to focus on what was left in his life instead of what was lost. He also tells a funny story about trying to cheat a lie detector test.+

15. FBI Exam and Prison

FBI Exam Failure:Justin shares his experience of failing the FBI exam despite investing hours and money to prepare for it. He talks about the techniques he used to prepare and his delusional confidence before the results were announced.+
Coping with Prison:Justin shares his experience of coping with the reality of going to prison, including nihilistic thoughts and how he transformed himself once he was there. He also talks about the accuracy of polygraphs and how he dealt with the examiner who repeatedly told him he failed.+
The Value of Selfishly Telling the Truth:Justin and Jordan discuss the value of telling the truth, even if it's a selfish endeavor. Justin explains how speaking openly about his bad choices was cathartic and benefited him during sentencing. They also touch on the importance of finding a net positive in difficult experiences, especially when it comes to protecting loved ones.+

16. Surrendering to Prison

Self-Surrendering to Prison:Justin Paperny, a former white-collar criminal, talks about the benefits of self-surrendering to prison and how it can be done. He shares his experience and advises on how to prepare for it.+
Life in Prison:Justin Paperny discusses the reality of life in prison, including the transit process and the importance of understanding the mindset of FBI agents. He also shares the importance of acknowledging one's actions and breaking through denial. Paperny highlights the positive impact of role models in prison, including Arthur and Michael Santos, who taught him the importance of exercise, education, and positive thinking.+

17. Opposite Success

Doing the Opposite:Justin shares how doing the opposite of what he initially thought was the right thing to do helped him turn his life around after serving time in prison. He speaks openly about his past mistakes and how he used his time in prison productively to prepare for a better life upon release.+
Rebuilding After White Collar Crime:Justin Paperny shares the importance of rebuilding after white collar crime and how some defendants struggle with taking on work they feel is beneath them. He encourages clients to embrace the path back and invest the time when nobody is watching, even if it means starting with a low-paying job. It's a reflection of their character and willingness to create a new record.+

18. Prison Stigma

Prison Sentencing:Justin and Jordan discuss the practicality of sending celebrities to prison for their crimes and the lifelong consequences that come with a prison sentence, regardless of the length of time served.+
Prison Stigma:Justin Paperny discusses the lifelong stigma of being in prison and the issues with the criminal justice system. He argues that tax dollars could be better spent on issues like homelessness rather than warehousing people in prison. He also highlights the diseases and illnesses affecting people in skid row and the need for change in the system.+

19. Articulating Mercy

Justin shares his experience as a consultant helping defendants articulate why they are worthy of mercy in criminal cases. He explains how his work is not just for privileged clients, but for anyone willing to take responsibility for their actions and become a better person.+

20. Outro

Jordan talks to Justin about his experience in prison and how he became a better person as a result. Justin now helps others prepare for their time in prison, offering advice based on his own experience.+